Harvard University and MIT filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Trump administration and the universities are pushing for a 14-day hold on a new ICE order.
(African Stand) — Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Wednesday over a plan to strip international students of visas if all their classes move online.
Leaders of the Cambridge institutions asked a federal court to temporarily block the rule that would bar foreign students from remaining in the United States if their universities are not holding any in-person classes this fall.
They said they believed the order is ‘illegal’ and will continue to fight against it, pushing for the courts to permanently block the policy from coming into effect.
Harvard’s president Lawrence Bacow claimed that with the order, the Trump administration is threatening to force educational institutions to open despite the ongoing dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.
He added that the ‘cruelty’ of the order was ‘surpassed only by its recklessness’.
‘Within the last hour, we filed pleadings together with MIT in the US District Court in Boston seeking a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the order,’ Bacow wrote in a letter to the Harvard community on Wednesday morning.
‘We will pursue this case vigorously so that our international students – and international students at institutions across the country – can continue their studies without the threat of deportation.’
Bacow added that the order ‘was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall’ but came at a time of record new coronavirus cases across the county.