By Jose Zepeda
The Trump administration rescinded a recent ruling from ICE Tuesday that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if they attended a school that was conducting the fall semester entirely online.
The decision came as eight federal lawsuits and opposition from universities began to pile up in response to the July 6 decision. In a hearing for the federal lawsuit brought by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs announced that federal immigration authorities agreed to return to the status quo, referring to the guidelines originally set for the Spring 2020 semester.
This means that international students will be able to keep their F-1 status for the upcoming semester, regardless of the student is taking in-person or online-only classes.
The University of Illinois’ International Student and Scholar Services released a statement following the news, saying they are examining the decision carefully, and will communicate with international students with greater detail on the decision at a later date.
“The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and ISSS celebrate this decision with you, and we appreciate the outpouring of support for our international students that we have received over the past week,” the statement read.
Kush Gupta, a rising junior in Engineering and an international student, was previously concerned about his education, but was relieved at the news.
“It goes on to show the power that the education sector has in the US and the fact that the government was unable to back their claims which were baseless from the beginning,” he said. “It takes a lot of pressure off students and universities in these tough times, so it’s great.”
University of Illinois Systems President Tim Killeen also expressed pleasure towards the decision.
“We are gratified to deliver today’s good news, and vow continued support of our international students and their access to the world-class education and opportunities provided by our universities,” he said in a massmail.