International DePaul student barred from entering U.S. by new Trump rule, lawsuit says
An international student at DePaul University was denied entry into the United States because of a new policy from the Trump administration, according to a new legal filing co-signed by nearly 60 universities.
Under a rule introduced July 6 by the Trump administration, students from foreign countries can’t stay in the country if they are attending a school that is only offering online courses for the fall 2020 semester. They also could be denied visas if they take too many online classes at schools offering a mix of digital and in-person instruction.
Last week, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking to block the new rule. On Sunday, 59 schools — including DePaul and Northwestern and the University of Chicago and University of Illinois — filed an amicus brief supporting the suit.
The brief says that on July 8, the student was returning from South Korea when he was barred from entering the country at a San Francisco airport. The student, who was not named, wasn’t allowed into the country because he had not yet enrolled in courses, the legal filing stated.
Federal agents argued since the student wasn’t yet registered for classes, he couldn’t prove his coursework would meet the new requirements, according to the brief. Other students across the country have been told they can’t receive a visa until their schools comply with the ruling, the filing alleges.
“The new ICE rule limits the flexibility we have in determining the best ways to provide safe options for our students, faculty and staff,” Carol Hughes, spokeswoman for DePaul, said in a statement Monday. “The potential impact may be devastating to many students who will be forced to give up their studies. Many who leave the United States will not return.”
Hughes said she couldn’t comment on specific cases, including the student featured in the brief, but said this rule will force an exodus of international talent from the U.S.
“America will surely lose more than student enrollment,” Hughes said. “We will lose the many talents and abilities that these students bring to our universities and to our economy.”
Illinois attorney general files suit, too
Also Monday, a separate lawsuit against the federal government was filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the top prosecutors of 17 other states.
The suit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, argues the arrival of the coronavirus — which has claimed over 130,000 lives nationwide — forced universities to overhaul operations in order to keep students, faculty and staff safe. As many of these institutions had finalized or nearly finalized plans for the fall semester, they were blindsided with the “abrupt change” in policy, officials said.