"ICE's action also leaves universities across the country, including Harvard and MIT, in the untenable situation of either moving forward with their carefully calibrated, thoughtful, and hard decisions to proceed with their curricula fully or largely online in the fall of 2020-which, under ICE's new directive, would undermine the education, safety, and future prospects of their worldwide students and their campus community-or to attempt, with just weeks before classes resume, to provide in-person education despite the grave risk to public health and safety that such a change would entail", said the filed complaint.
"The ICE's announcement of their plans to force out or deport worldwide students who remain at United States colleges and universities and who are taking a full online course load is cruel and unconscionable".
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement from enforcing the new regulations on foreign students in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, Indiana University and Purdue University are supporting the lawsuit challenging the order.
"Our worldwide students are leaders on our campus, and they contribute to the rich and diverse educational experiences that benefit all students", Taylor wrote.
The SA members are now in contact with several university administrators about the proposed course, which they said worldwide students should help design.
Though ICE states the changed policy is simply due to the pandemic, what is truly at stake here, and what underlies this decision, made only weeks prior to the start of a new semester when many schools have either already published their plans for the fall or are in the final stages of solidifying them?
The lawmakers added the "sudden removal of global students would weaken the country economically precisely when our fragile economy can not afford another self-inflicted blow and would undermine higher education as one of our most significant and valuable exports". At universities that plan to offer a blend of online and in-person classes - like the University of Minnesota - worldwide students will be prohibited from taking all their classes online.
College leaders called the administration's policy simply a means to force colleges to reopen and offer in-person classes at the time when colleges are finalizing their fall plans.
"We're not forcing universities to reopen".
"International students add to the intellectual and cultural life of the University of Miami and we are doing everything in our power to ensure they continue to have the opportunity to do so", said UM President Julio Frenk in a statement. Don't turn them adrift, looking for a country that will take them in. Many universities and community colleges will be harmed. Today, we are proud to have a strong body of worldwide students and vibrant community of faculty, staff, and administrators from all over the world. "It isn't going to be just on-line learning in the fall", Zambito said.
Students who must move a continent away or to the other side of the world will have to participate in online classes in time zones hours apart from where they are located, which could have detrimental effects on their education, health, and livelihood.