Johns Hopkins University has filed a lawsuit in federal court to keep the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from taking visas from international students and kicking them out of the United States if they cannot take in-person courses for the fall semester, according to the Baltimore Sun.
ICE announced Monday that international students would have to leave the United States or transfer to another institution if they weren't enrolled in in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester.
The university claims the new ICE policy "completely upended" its plans to open this fall since the school has close to 5,000 international students enrolled.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit Wednesday to keep ICE agents from enforcing the policy. Both schools are only offering online classes this fall.
For the 2020 fall semester, many universities are offering either online-only classes this fall or a hybrid combination of both online and in-person classes.
But the ICE policy would prevent international students from staying in the United States, even with the hybrid curriculum.
Johns Hopkins plans to begin its semester with the hybrid in-person and online course approach, then move to online-only following the Thanksgiving vacation.
"The adverse consequences of this sudden displacement are devastating financially and personally," the school said, according to the complaint.
The U.S. State Department made an announcement Wednesday that may save international students whose schools only offer online classes from returning to their home countries for the fall. The agency plans to temporarily modify the ICE policy to provide "greater flexibility for nonimmigrant students to continue their education in the United States, while also allowing for proper social distancing on open and operating campuses across America."
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