In­ter­na­tional DePaul stu­dent barred from en­ter­ing U.S. by new Trump rule, law­suit says

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MANNY RAMOS, STAFF RE­PORTER mramos@sun­times.com | @_ManuelRamo­s_ Manny Ramos is a corps mem­ber in Re­port for Amer­ica, a not-for-profit jour­nal­ism pro­gram that aims to bol­ster Sun-Times cov­er­age of Chicago’s South and West sides.

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.

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