by Khushi Mehra
Harvard University alongside MIT has filed a plea within the US District Court in Boston seeing a short-lived exclusion order forbidding implementation of the rule by Trump administration that directs, international students within the US who don’t attend in-person classes should leave the country.
According to Harvard and MIT, this strategy will effectively strand many international students studying in the U.S. and mucky plans for a return to class amid the coronavirus pandemic. They say, “The move reflects an effort by the federal government to force universities to reopen in-person classes,” despite what’s best for public or community safety. “The effect and perhaps even the goal is to create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible,” the Universities said.
Just two days after federal officials barred international students from attending U.S. colleges that only happen online, this fall, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made their objections clear. A report in the Harvard Crimson said that the two pre-eminent educational institutions filed a lawsuit in district court against two federal agencies.
The lawsuit pursues a short-lived exclusion order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar the US Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from applying federal guidelines that will force international students to leave the US.
Harvard University President, Lawrence Bacow said in an email to associates that “The order came down without notice, its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. We believe that the ICE order is a bad public policy and that we believe that it’s illegal.” According to the Crimson report, Bacow said, “We will pursue this case vigorously so that our international students at institutions across the country can continue their studies without the threat of deportation,”
Numbering over 200,000 Indians, constitute the second-largest foreign student community in US campuses after the Chinese. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), a US government-funded body, immigration lawyers while questioning the motive behind forcing students to attend in-person classes amid a raging pandemic, said it could lead to the US Citizenship and Immigration services being slapped with fresh lawsuits.
Although countries around the world have slowly begun to emerge from protracted lockdowns, international travel is still prohibited, except for a handful of nations that may be part of exclusive travel bubbles. There isn’t’ any planning yet about the U.S. to work with other countries for organizing special flights for its international student cohort.
Moreover, great uncertainty also looms over the eligibility of foreign students visas, if their university programs continue to remain exclusively online post the upcoming fall semester.
Image Credits:- The Wire