St. Paul, Minn., Jul 16, 2020 / 09:32 am
A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive that would have forced thousands of international students to leave the country has been rescinded after it was challenged by a litany of lawsuits.
The directive, which was announced July 6, denied visas to international students with an exclusively online course load. It came after many colleges and universities announced plans to conduct the fall semester online, throwing the fate of international students into turmoil.
Catholic institutions praised the reversal of the directive.
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities said in a statement that they were “heartened by the agreement” reached in the lawsuit between Harvard-MIT and the government.
“Our institutions’ ongoing advocacy stems from valuing global collaboration and having a keen awareness that the Jesuit mission of forming persons who are charged with making the world a better place is one that has no borders or boundaries,” said the AJCU.
President John J. DeGioia of Georgetown University, who signed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard-MIT lawsuit, told the university’s press that he was “thankful for the news” of the reversal. Previously he had called the ICE directive a “reckless action” on the part of the government.
The directive “creates new and unnecessary barriers for international students and puts their health, stability and academic progress at risk if they are unable to participate in classes in person,” DeGioia said. It failed to “recognize the invaluable contributions of our international students within our community and the impacts of this abrupt change during an ongoing pandemic.”
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities also spoke out against the directive, calling it a “heartless” policy.