International Students Are Welcome
Judge Allison Burroughs, the same judge who ruled in favor of Harvard University in a case in which the school was accused of discriminating against Asian American applicants in its admissions process, has sided with Harvard again — and we applaud her decision. Today, Judge Burroughs, prior to hearing arguments, announced that the federal government would rescind its newly announced policy that would have barred international students from staying in the U.S. if their schools were offering exclusively online instruction. The absurd guidelines issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6th, to put it mildly, were not received well by America’s institutions of higher education. In fact, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed suit against the federal government and more than two hundred universities would subsequently file amicus briefs in their suit against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security in federal court. 20 states and many Silicon Valley companies also voiced opposition to the federal government’s guidelines. The swift, unified reaction ultimately led to a swift reversal — one that couldn’t have come soon enough.
America’s Colleges Owe a Debt of Gratitude to Harvard and MIT
As Miriam Jordan and Anemona Hartocollis write for The New York Times in a piece entitled, “U.S. Rescinds Plan to Strip Visas From International Students in Online Classes,” “After the announcement on Tuesday that the policy had been rescinded, university officials praised the decision and warned that they would be prepared to go back to court should the administration make any further moves to restrict the ability of international students to study online when necessary. ‘This is a significant victory,’ Harvard’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, said in a statement. ‘The directive had disrupted all of American higher education. I have heard from countless international students who said that the July 6 directive had put them at serious risk. These students — our students — can now rest easier and focus on their education, which is all they ever wanted to do.'”
Trump Administration Dealt a Blow, Rescinds Poorly Conceived Guidelines
It seems that the Trump administration, which supported the group known as Students for Fair Admissions in the Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, just can’t beat Harvard in Judge Burroughs’ courtroom. Judge Burroughs has effectively handed the Trump administration two significant defeats while delivering two victories to Harvard. On this particular occasion, it seems the administration didn’t realize the hard and swift blowback they’d receive for their new guidelines that would have unfairly disrupted the educations — and the lives — of so many international students. These international students come to our country to receive the best education in all the world so that they can return to their homelands to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. America’s most respected universities — including each of the eight Ivy League schools — are universities that educate not only America’s citizens but the world’s citizens. The Trump administration tried to interfere with this lofty mission. America’s universities wouldn’t have it.
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