U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rescinded guidelines that restricted international students from remaining in the country if their school had an online-only semester after a hearing on Tuesday between the Department of Homeland Security and Harvard University (Mass.) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, per The Harvard Crimson.
U.S. District Court Judge Allison Dale Burroughs announced the government and the universities had reached an agreement that made the previous decision moot. In 2017, Burroughs imposed a seven-day restraining order that halted the Trump administration’s travel ban and allowed immigrants to come to the U.S. from seven previously-blocked countries.
University President Claire E. Sterk and President-elect Greg Fenves applauded the DHS’s redaction in a July 14 statement sent to the Wheel. “This reversal will allow our students to continue their studies at Emory and remain important members of our community,” they wrote
The announcement of the policy on July 6 concerned international students, who, under Emory’s hybrid instruction model, would have been required to return to the U.S. or risk losing their F-1 visa status. Emory planned to enroll international upperclassmen in a one-credit reading course to help maintain their status and were discussing other strategies for underclassmen.
On July 12, Emory joined 58 other universities in an amicus brief supporting Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit against the Trump administration. The brief argues that the directive was “arbitrary and capricious” and devoid of any reasoned justification.
The controversial guidelines have attracted ire from universities and lawmakers nationwide, as the directive largely targeted students who pay full tuition, and was seen as a form of pressure from the Trump administration to force in-person education.
Gizem Terzioğlu (21C), an international student from Turkey, stated that she was “extremely relieved by the reversal of this rule.”
“Even though Emory’s current plan is a hybrid model, which would allow me to enter the US, the fact that these plans are up in the air made it very hard to plan and caused a lot of anxiety,” she said. “It’s great to know that I can plan for my semester without having to worry about my visa status but just focusing on my health and the health of the others around me.”
Vice President for Academic Communications Nancy Seideman and International Student and Scholar Services did not provide a statement by press time.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.