Attorneys General from 17 states in the US and the District of Columbia have taken Donald Trump’s administration to court over a directive to disallow foreign students to online-only studies this fall semester.
The multistate suit was filed with the US District Court in Massachusetts on Monday against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey told CNN that the suit seeks to suspend ICE’s directive to deport foreign students whose universities are offering online-only studies until the case is heard and determined.
“The Trump Administration didn’t even attempt to explain the basis for this senseless rule, which forces schools to choose between keeping their international students enrolled and protecting the health and safety of their campuses,” Healey said in a statement.
The suit has largely been viewed as a democrat effort to stop Trump from sending home over 1.2 million foreign students in the US.
In their argument, the 17 attorneys general implored that ICE in its directive “fails to consider the harm to international students and their families whose lives will be upended.”
They added that the guidance is likely to “also cause irreparable harm to the public health and the economy.”
Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat by affiliation, expressly stated that they would challenge this directive.
Before the Monday filing of the suit by the 17 Attorneys General, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology also filed lawsuits against ICE decision.
ICE in the statement stated that: “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”