Eighteen states sue the federal government for revoking student visas

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, joined by prosecutors from 17 other states, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston against the Trump administration. The lawsuit challenges the student visa revocation and deportation policies announced last week by the U.S. Immigration and Customs.

The new measure prohibits hundreds of thousands of foreign students from studying in the United States if their programs are switched online because of the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit, which asks the court to block the rule with an immediate injunction, calls the new policy “brutal, harsh, and illegal.”

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the service did not issue F-1 visas to foreign students studying in online programs. But when the virus caused the closure of universities, the rules did not change. Now, the federal authorities want students transferred to the remote learning mode to stay home this fall. “If they are not going to attend classes live and will study 100% online, then they have no reason to be here,” representatives of the service say.

The lawsuit says the administration issued the rule after most colleges and universities spent months before reaching final plans for the fall, which are called the “painful dilemma.” Just a few weeks before the start of the semester, universities must find a way to offer a sufficient number of individual classes for their international students “without health consequences”.