A coalition of 18 attorneys general — including those representing Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island — is suing the Trump administration to block a new federal rule that bars international higher education students from studying in the United States if they are taking online-only courses this fall.
"It's the absolute right thing to do to reverse this policy and send a strong message to Donald Trump," said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in front of the Statehouse in Boston. "He's harming our colleges and universities, who rely here in Massachusetts on a diverse student body with contributions from international students that further the educational goals and the health and the well being of our learning institutions."
International students, advocates, and Healey ripped the new rule that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency unveiled on July 6.
Under the rule, international students who are only offered remote courses for the fall semester must either leave the country or take "alternative steps" like transferring, taking a medical leave, or reducing course load.
The State Department does not plan to issue visas to students enrolled in colleges or universities with only-online course loads. Those students would be prohibited from entering the country and could face deportation if they remain in the U.S.
Several international students spoke about the anxiety and fear they felt when the rule was announced and applauded Healey's move seeking to block the new regulations.