The University of Minnesota on Thursday announced it would support a lawsuit challenging new federal immigration rules that could potentially force some international students to leave the country.
Under the new guidelines from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released this week, visas will not be issued to international students enrolled in colleges that are only operating online this fall, forcing them to either leave the country or transfer to another school. At universities that plan to offer a blend of online and in-person classes — like the University of Minnesota — international students will be prohibited from taking all their classes online.
The federal rules impact some 1 million international students attending U.S. colleges and universities, many of whom pay higher tuition rates that their institutions depend on. Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli told CNN Tuesday that the new rules “encourage schools to reopen.”
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit Wednesday attempting to block the Trump administration’s new guidelines. The University of Minnesota and a growing number of public universities have since announced they would file amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit.
“Our planned hybrid teaching model this fall supports both in-person and online courses, which should reduce the impact of ICE’s decision on our nearly 6,200 international students systemwide,” U President Joan Gabel said in a statement. “However, we cannot stand by in good conscience as international students are forced out of the country through no fault of their own.”
“We stand with our international students, and international students across the country, in asking that the ICE directive be overturned immediately,” Gabel said.