On Tuesday afternoon, District Judge Allison Burroughs announced the U.S. decision to rescind a policy enacted by ICE on July 6, which would strip international students of their visas in circumstances of online learning, according to The New York Times.
The original guidance required that every international student take at least one in-person course, or return to their home county and ruled that any student who left the U.S. upon the start of the COVID-19 outbreak could not return in the event their classes were held remotely.
Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against the policy which would have forced thousands of international students out of the U.S., ultimately barring them from any access to their universities, even online.
Seventeen states followed suit, filing lawsuits of their own calling the policy both cruel and senseless. In addition, hundreds of universities, including Lehigh, filed independent Amicus curiae briefs against the ruling.
The Trump administration’s decision to rescind this policy just one week later is a win for international students as well as universities who, in addition to losing a vital part of their student body, would have faced significant financial and legal complications.