Relief to Indian students as Trump administration agrees to revoke student visa curbs

The Donald Trump administration has agreed to revoke a directive to deport students who don’t take in-personal classes in the US, bringing relief to thousands of Indian students, who are studying in American universities.

Indians are the second-largest student community with over 200,000 students or a fifth of the one million foreign students taking up courses in the US.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs announced at an online hearing on Tuesday that the government had agreed to rescind last week’s requirement that international students take at least one in-person class, even amid the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and as colleges prepare online-only coursework, Bloomberg reported.

ET reported that large technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Paypal had told the US court that deporting students would hurt American educational institutions as well as the US economy.

In all, 19 companies and local unions, like the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the Software Alliance, and the Information Technology Industry Council, had signed the brief in a case where Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 180 other colleges have filed, opposing the July 6 directive by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On Monday, 17 US states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the policy, calling it ‘a cruel, abrupt and unlawful action to expel international students amidst the pandemic…’

The ICE decision required students currently in the United States to leave the country if their universities choose to conduct classes only online. Some, like Harvard, have already said that they would be conducting their undergraduate program online this year.

The revocation of the rule by the Trump administration came ahead of the July 15 ICE deadline for universities to declare whether they would be conducting courses only online in the upcoming semester starting in September.


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