The new school year is quickly approaching, and students, parents, and administrators are on edge, waiting to see how grade school and university campuses will look. A few states already know how they will reopen schools, with New York choosing to limiting days of classroom attendance to one to three days and other days will be at-home learning. With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing with no vaccine, it is hard to tell how risky it is to reopen schools. Trump’s administration expects schools to be fully open by the fall, and international students would not be issued visas if taking all online classes this fall. As expected, there has been outrage over this decision, and California has become the first state to sue the administration over the new student visa policy.
The federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced earlier this week that visas would not be issued to students in schools that plan on teaching classes entirely online in the fall. With some colleges already announcing their plans to hold online-only courses in the fall due to the U.S continuing struggles to keep the coronavirus pandemic under control, students attending these universities will be left with limited options. The students will have to transfer to schools with in-class lessons, or if that is not an option, they must leave the country. Losing international students would hurt universities and the economy, as international students brought in almost $41 billion in the 2018-2019 school year. California has over 180,000 international students, the most of any other state, and has become the first state to fight to keep its international students.
California’s state Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced July 10th that it is suing the Trump administration over its new rule banning visas for international students that attend fully online universities. The Attorney General is claiming that the new rule will unfairly harm international students and puts other students, teachers, and the community of spreading the virus. Instead, Becerra is not new to fighting against the administration, as he has filed 86 lawsuits alone against the administration, although California is not alone. Harvard University, MIT, and Northeastern University have filed a lawsuit to challenge the rule on the same grounds as California.
With the start of the 2020-2021 school year quickly approaching, decisions must be made on how grad schools and universities will reopen, whether it’s online, in-class, or a hybrid method. Trump’s administration is pushing for schools to open in the fall fully, and its new rule would put international students at risk of being deported. International students attending fully online universities will not be administered visas and will have to transfer to another university with in-class lessons or face deportation. California, along with a few universities, is fighting the new rule to allow international students to stay and continue their education.