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Breaking News: ICE Guidance Overturned

Tuesday, July 14th
Rutgers Global announced today that the controversial guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of July 6 has been cancelled by the federal government. The news was announced at the start of the hearing of a Harvard/M.I.T-led lawsuit filed against the ICE guidance. This announcement overturned the week-old ICE guidance that barred international students in F-1 status from pursuing a fully online course load while staying in the US and maintaining their legal F-1 status. The government has agreed that this policy will not be implemented and that they will return to the guidance that was issued on March 9, 2020 and March 13, 2020. What this means for international students in F-1 status currently: If you are a returning/continuing student outside the country taking a full course-load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can maintain your legal F-1 status while abroad. If you are a returning/continuing student in the US taking a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can stay in the US and maintain your legal status. If you are a new student outside the country who does not have F-1 status, you will be permitted to take a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers. Your F-1 status will be activated when you come to the US. If you are a new student in the US (transferring your SEVIS record to Rutgers or changing your status to F-1 for the fall) taking a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can maintain your legal F-1 status.  Vice President for Global Affairs, Dr. Eric Garfunkel remarked: “This is a huge relief for our international students and for the university community. We join you in celebrating this decision and commend all the efforts undertaken by students, faculty, and administrators to stop this policy from going into effect. We are also very grateful for the incredible outpouring of support for our international students over the past week. For our international students - please know that we continue to stand with you and our entire international community.” For more news and updates, please visit the Rutgers Global Alerts webpage.  Here are some additional links for further information:  Association of International Educators: SEVP COVID-19 Guidance for Fall 2020 The New York Times: Government Rescinds Plan to Strip Visas From Foreign Students in Online Classes The Wall Street Journal: White House Rescinds Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online Bloomberg: U.S. Backs Down in Fight With Harvard, MIT Over Student Visas Associated Press (picked by local/regional broadcast): Trump administration rescinds rule about foreign students taking classes online

Rutgers University to Join Harvard – MIT Lawsuit Against New ICE Rules

Monday, July 13th
Rutgers filed as amicus joining 58 other higher education institutions in support of the lawsuit Rutgers University president Jonathan Holloway announced that the university will join as an amicus in the lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT to block the imposition of new rules that would be draconian for international students and devastating to colleges and universities across the country. The new guidance proposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday would prohibit international students from taking course loads that are delivered entirely remotely and would require international students to immediately leave the United States if all of their courses are being delivered remotely. “Presenting these new policy proposals in the midst of the global pandemic, on the heels of announcements that universities across the country will be providing remote instruction, and only weeks before the start of the next semester is both revealing and troubling,” Holloway said. “Our mission is to educate and improve the lives of our community locally and globally. Our international students are a critical part of that mission, and we will do everything in our power to defend their ability to remain in the United States and continue their education at Rutgers,” Holloway added. Harvard and MIT filed the action against the Department of Homeland Security and ICE proposed policy in Federal District Court in Boston on Wednesday. The suit, which seeks a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, will have its first hearing on Tuesday. Rutgers is one of 59 diverse public and private colleges and universities from 24 states and the District of Columbia that filed in amicus on Sunday. “We are standing with the finest institutions in America who are joining as amici in this lawsuit to stop the imposition of proposed rules that, on their face, seem to be motivated by politics during the pandemic. The proposed rules are thoughtless and in direct conflict with the values we hold dear,” the Rutgers president added. Among the other institutions that have indicated that they will join as amici are virtually all Rutgers’ fellow Big Ten universities and universities in the Ivy League. This article was originally published in Rutgers Today.