The Department of Homeland Security overturned a policy directive July 6, which would have required international students to take at least some courses in person in order to stay in the US < p> the government agreed to set aside the guidance in response to a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Termination of Directive July 6 and an associated FAQ released July 7, means that the government reverts to the guidelines established in March that allows international students who stay in the US, having a full course load in line.

at the least 20 states and the District of Columbia and about two dozen universities filed several lawsuits to block the policy change takes effect. Harvard and MIT - both of which plan to carry out most of their courses fall online - claimed in its application that the policy July 6 reflects an effort by the government to the universities of force to return to open despite the continuing dangers posed by the pandemic of the coronavirus <. / P>

argued universities selling directive "unsustainable situation" of either going ahead with online courses at the expense of the prospects for welfare and future of international students - or forced them "to try, with just weeks before classes resume, to provide education in person despite the serious risk to health and safety that such a change would involve public ".

Typically, federal regulations restrict international students to take more than one class online within an hour. In March, as schools changed their courses online in response to coronavirus pandemic, the government suspended the implementation of these regulations, ensuring that international students universities could stay in the US, having a completely curriculum line. The orientation of March Program Visiting Student and Exchange, a unit within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, describes the allocation for international students taking Multiple courses online as a temporary accommodation remain in force "for the duration of the emergency . "

July 6, the government abruptly backtracked, saying that ongoing and new international students could not legally remain in the US if they were taking all their classes online. Universities and groups of higher education pushed back hard, and the first demand - Harvard and MIT - was presented two days later

Before agreed to waive the new orientation, the Department of National security filed a motion. Monday, in which justified the decision to block international students take a course load line only on the basis of what he described as "significant national security concerns."

The government argued in a court filing, "a unique online program of study provides a nonimmigrant student with enormous flexibility to be present Anywhere in the United States for up to one academic semester, and the location has been reported that the government ... in addition, such programs could allow a nonimmigrant student to carry out activities other than studying full time. "

the government remains in that que'estudiantes same presentation elect a 100% online learning program need not be physically present in the United States. '

Decla rations students from Harvard and MIT presented in the court file It argued instead that students have academic, personal and professional reasons to stay in the US - or in some cases re-enter the US - even if their courses would be online.

For example, a student, a graduate student in engineering from Lebanon, is currently working on a collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space.

"If I have to leave the United States and return to Lebanon, will be virtually impossible for me to continue my research and my work related to the project of NASA, which is directly related to my thesis grade, "says the statement of the student. "Most of my work is not possible from Lebanon. Lebanon is currently experiencing extreme economic crisis and hunger. I would not be able to access the basic tools to complete my work online, including electricity and reliable Internet ".

Students whose statements are included in the suit concerns expressed are forced to go home would require separation from their loved ones - one a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard in Australia, faced the potential separation of an infant child, an American citizen, whose passport has not yet been issued - and jeopardize their access to mental health. Students expressed concern about the financial costs of breaking their leases, and on potentially exposing at risk of family members back home to COVID-19 after taking a flight back to the US long-term

Harvard and MIT argued that the government did not take into account the costs of their actions and reliance on schools and students on the orientation before the DHS in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, a law which it requires federal agencies to provide the opportunity for public notice and comment and reasoned explanations for their decision making.

in a presentation, Harvard and MIT argued that the actions of the government of Trump in the termination of your guide March online courses had parallels with his decision to end the deferred action program Children arrivals of undocumented immigrants - a decision overturned by the Supreme Court.

"Just last month, the Supreme Court annulled undistinguishable effort DHS to rescind the DACA program precisely because the agency did not take into account the interests of dependency of the beneficiaries of the program and did not explain adequately its decision making arbitrary and capricious ", Harvard and MIT wrote in a court filing. "The Court should reach the same result here."

The demand for Harvard / MIT, which remains open, is one of at least eight the claims that have been presented in an attempt to block the directive of the ICE. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia sued as part of a lawsuit from several states, while California, New York and Washington sued separately. Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, filed a lawsuit of its own, to the same as a group of 20 universities in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. A group of foreign graduate students in California also sued.

Hundreds of colleges and more than 70 higher education associations submitted amicus briefs in support of Harvard University and MIT case, to the same as the US Chamber of Commerce, along with the companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft. A group of presidents of student government also filed an amicus.

Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, said in a statement that the cancellation of the policy July 6 "shows the importance of international students to the United States and shows that together with one voice, all higher education, the business community, and many others across our nation are making it clear that these students are still welcome here. we are very pleased that Harvard and MIT, as well as many states and other colleges and universities, took immediate legal action to force the Trump administration to rescind its wrongheaded policy that would have prevented students attending US institutions operating online during this global pandemic to stay in or come to our country. "

President of the MIT L. Rafael Reif said in a statement that it had" been inspired by the show of support for our position that inund He or greater and to education and other organizations so quickly. I was especially moved by the involvement of our own students, including those who contributed their personal stories and those who organized a national coalition of students in filing a brief. "

" We at MIT are extremely grateful that so many are paying attention and talk about the important role of international students in our business education, research and Innovation here in the United States " Reif said. " These students make us stronger, and we hurt when we turn away from them. This case also made it very clear that real life are at stake in these issues, with the potential for real damage. We need policy approach, especially now, with more humanity, more decency - not less. We are ready to protect our students from all additional arbitrary policies. The future of our country is at stake. "

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