WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The administration’s decision was announced at the start of a hearing in a federal lawsuit in Boston brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The announcement brings relief to thousands of foreign students who had been at risk of being deported from the country, along with hundreds of universities that were scrambling to reassess their plans for the fall in light of the policy.
The rule was facing opposition from state governments across the country. Monday, 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an effort to stop the policy.
Along with D.C., the lawsuit was filed by these states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. California also filed a similar lawsuit.
University of Missouri System President Mun Choi, who also serves as interim chancellor for the Columbia campus, championed the decision in a statement from the schools:
The news today regarding international students is truly a win for the United States. International students are an important part of our campus community. The culture, ideas and knowledge they add to our universities enrich and enhance each and every one of us. Many have gone on to become productive citizens contributing to our economy and democracy. The UM System is committed to supporting our international students, and we look forward to having them back when the semester begins in August.”