Google, Facebook, others challenge Trump new rule on international students
A new Trump administration rule that would force many international students to leave the U.S. this fall is being challenged by more than a dozen U.S. tech majors including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and 18 state attorneys general in separate lawsuits.
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Paypal and others filed a court brief on Monday in support of a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT challenging the new rules, arguing that the restrictions would “inflict significant harm,” Business Insider reported.
“America’s future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students,” the brief notes, adding that “Individuals who come here as international students are also essential to educating the next generation of inventors.”
Separately, the attorneys general of 18 states have jointly filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, seeking an injunction that would block the visa order from going into effect.
Last week, the state of California had filed its own suit challenging the rules. Under the new directive, international students on nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visas cannot remain in the U.S. or legally enter the U.S. if their courses are entirely online.
Students who remain in the U.S. while taking only online courses may face “immigration consequences” including “the initiation of removal proceedings,” the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
“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,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement announcing the states’ suit.
$44.7 billion. That is how much international students in the U.S. contributed to the national economy in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Trump administration has pushed to curb multiple avenues of immigration in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, including, halting the issuance of new green cards, suspending the H-1B and other work visas to the end of the year. The student visa decision is also part of a broader push by the White House to reopen schools and colleges this fall despite the ongoing pandemic. Many universities including Harvard University have shared plans to offer all of their fall classes online.