17 states to sue Trump administration over visa rules for students

Harvard, MIT were among first colleges to challenge the Trump administration's move

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Attorneys general in 17 states and the district of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its guidance to not allow foreign students to take online-only courses this fall semester.

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were among the first colleges to sue the Trump administration. Now, other schools have signed court briefs against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in federal court in Boston. 

On May 9, President Donald Trump, who won the elections with a promise to reduce the number of immigrants, announced that he would ban the H-1B visa, a decision several tech companies including Apple and Microsoft opposed. 

On July 7 the US government announced the directive that it can deport students enrolled in US universities if they are attending online lectures. On July 8 MIT and Harvard University announced that they are suing the government over the directive. 

Hundreds and thousands of Indian students face uncertainty if the move is put into effect. 

The multistate effort, filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts on Monday also seeks to stop the policy from going into effect while the case is being decided.

The attorneys general also said that the regulation, “fails to consider the harm to international students and their families whose lives will be upended” and that it “will also cause irreparable harm to the public health and the economy” of their states.

Last week, California Attorney Visa requirements for students have always been strict and coming to the US to take online-only courses has been prohibited. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) suggested that students currently enrolled in the US consider other measures, like transferring to schools with in-person instruction.

It also maintained that it has taken into consideration the prohibition of attending online-only classes.