ICE has relented

Foreign students

ICE has relented and reversed it decision about foreign students taking online classes having to go back to their respective countries or attend a school with in person classes.

In a very sudden move by ICE the rules were changed and foreign students will not have to leave the United States if they are taking only online classes. “Judge Allison Dale Burroughs of the U.S. District Court in Boston said ICE had agreed to scrap the directive. Burroughs said the government and plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT had reached an agreement, rendering the case, one of the several challenges against the policy, moot.” per CBS News.

Before July 6th ICE had let foreign students study via the internet when schools had shutdown and moved to learning online. “On July 6, ICE announced that the exemption would not remain in place during the fall semester, saying in a message to students and schools that F-1 and M-1 visa holders would not be allowed to enter or remain in the U.S. if they intended to take only online classes in the fall.” This had made sense to me. It made only those who were not physically attending classes return to their home countries, where they could continue their studies remotely. And the schools would not have been penalized and of course they would have been paid by these online students. I guess I am not fully understanding what the real problem is for the schools who sued ICE and won because ICE relented.

The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded guidance issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this month that would have prohibited foreign students from taking online-only coursework in the fall, walking back an announcement that elicited a flurry of lawsuits and withering criticism from schools, lawmakers and states.

During a hearing Tuesday afternoon in which she was expected to rule on whether to block the recent guidance for student visas, Judge Allison Dale Burroughs of the U.S. District Court in Boston said ICE had agreed to scrap the directive. Burroughs said the government and plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT had reached an agreement, rendering the case, one of the several challenges against the policy, moot.

Tuesday’s announcement was a fast reversal for the Trump administration, and a significant victory for a spirited campaign mounted by colleges, universities, states and students opposed to the rule changes. They had accused the administration of failing to consider the challenges faced by schools and students during the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended in-person classroom instruction.

The “Regulations that govern the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program generally bar foreigners on F-1 and M-1 visas — which are for academic and vocational students, respectively — from participating in online-only school semesters.” Thus, I can not understand why the schools were suing other than the reason of the timing of the announcement.

In a way the timing of the original announcement and the decision to reverse the July 6th pronouncement was just too close to the start of the Fall semester. Maybe that is why the schools sued. ICE should never had waited to tell foreign students that they had to leave if they were taking online-only classes.

My only thought now is that some if not a large portion of these foreign students may already left for home and may never return. This would deprive many of the schools, who depend on such people, a large amount of tuition monies.

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike

PS I apologize publishing this blog on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. What I was going to publish is not as important as the above.

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