California’s attorney general will file a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block a Trump administration immigration rule that could force tens of thousands of international students to leave the United States if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the new rules could force international students to put themselves or others at risk by attending classes in person.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said on Monday it would not allow holders of certain student visas to remain in the country if their school courses were fully online for the fall, an announcement that blindsided academic institutions and sent them scrambling to review their policies.
Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit over the new rules on Wednesday, arguing the new rules did not appear to take the health of students and faculty into consideration and would cause chaos at universities and colleges around the country.
The University of California system also said on Wednesday that it planned to sue over the new policy.
California had nearly 162,000 international students in 2019, according to a report by the U.S. State Department and the Institute of International Education.