The Trump administration is rescinding its controversial new policy to deport any international students who are only taking online courses. The US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement initially announced the new guideline last week.
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“We thought the original rules that were suggested were cruel and misguided and didn’t serve our universities, didn’t serve our students and frankly didn’t serve our country,” Rice University President David Leebron said to CNN.
Shreeya Thussu, who’s studying molecular biology and is the president of the International Students Association at the University of California at Berkeley, told CNN she didn’t believe Tuesday’s news when she heard it. “I just hoped that it was real,” she said. “The last couple of days have just been so stressful. The university’s been sending out emails, but giving no information, and it sounded really dire, and kind of told us to enroll in in-person classes if possible. A lot of us were super anxious, so this is really good.”
ICE’s decision to renege on its plans comes after losing a legal battle with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The American Council on Education called the policy “horrifying.” Thousands of international students would’ve been thrown into the danger of traveling home during a pandemic.