California to sue Trump over order revoking foreign student visas

WION Web Team Los Angeles, United States of America Jul 10, 2020, 07.38 AM(IST)

California state university Photograph:( AFP )

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The lawsuit to be filed by the state's attorney general comes as Trump pushes for the country's education facilities to reopen even as virus infections continue to spike, particularly in the south and west.

California is set to sue US President Donald Trump's administration over its policy that threatens the visas of foreign students whose courses move online due to coronavirus.

"The Trump Administration's unlawful policy... threatens to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and exile hundreds of thousands of college students studying in the United States," said a statement announcing the suit.

The lawsuit to be filed by the state's attorney general comes as Trump pushes for the country's education facilities to reopen even as virus infections continue to spike, particularly in the south and west.

On Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said foreign students enrolled in fully online programmes for the fall semester would not be allowed to enter the country.

The measure was seen as a move by the White House to put pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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But California State University -- a plaintiff in the suit -- is among those planning to offer mostly online-only education to their more than 10,000 foreign students, as well as US students, this fall.

Forcing Californian universities and colleges to open in-person classes would threaten their finances and could turn them into "super-spreaders" of the disease, Attorney General Becerra said. 

Harvard University, which also plans online-only classes next year, filed a separate lawsuit against the policy on Wednesday, along with MIT.