Federal government reverses decision barring international students from taking online-only classes

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 7/14/20 5:10pm

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by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have agreed to reverse a controversial July 6 order that would have barred international students from staying at U.S. universities offering only online courses.

After the July 6 order was announced, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against the DHS and ICE calling for a reversal of the directive, which Dartmouth supported through an amicus brief. At a hearing for the lawsuit on Tuesday, federal judge Allison Burroughs stated that the government and the universities had reached a resolution that would reinstate previous guidance issued by ICE in March. That guidance allows international students with student visas to legally reside in the United States while taking entirely online classes. 

“We are elated that the government has rightly decided today to rescind last week’s guidance and FAQs,” College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement. 

In its amicus brief, Dartmouth challenged the July 6 order as “arbitrary and capricious in forcing schools to choose between opening campuses regardless of public health risks or compelling their international students to leave the country, and in requiring international students to choose between complying with the rule and continuing their education,” Lawrence wrote. 

In light of the decision to reverse the July 6 order, Lawrence wrote that the College remains committed to identifying possible solutions for fall term instruction, housing and resources for international students. 

Another story with more information will be published in the future.

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