The guidelines issued by the Trump administration, asking the international students to leave the country if they are only taking online classes, has received a serious backlash from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They have also received support from Cornell University.
“This was wholly unexpected, and it is a senseless and unfair policy that runs counter to all that we stand for as a global academic community,” said Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University.
They have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts and have argued that it has violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
They stated that the decision to transfer students to other schools, with in-person learning and asking them to leave is impractical, expensive, impossible and will be dangerous to health. Every second student is enrolled in some of the other online course failing to which might lead to a leap in their education.
“The order came down without notice—its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others,” Harvard University President Larry Bacow said.
The lawsuit also underlines the challenge posed to students: “Just weeks from the start of the fall semester, these students are largely unable to transfer to universities providing on-campus instruction, notwithstanding ICE‘s suggestion that they might do so to avoid removal from the country.”