Trump Administration Caves, Won’t Deport Foreigners Taking Online-only Classes
Written by Luis Miguel
Left-wing university administrations and the big business lobby scored a major win over the Trump administration this week when the White House agreed to cease its plan to deport foreign college students enrolled only in online classes, rather than in-person classes, in the fall.
The administration announced last week that international students must transfer or leave the country if their school classes are to be held only online. This was to restore the regulation that already existed prior to being suspended by DHS in March as an accommodation for the COVID-19 outbreak.
The move provoked immediate backlash and lawsuits from Harvard and MIT against both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The lawsuit was supported by colleges, municipalities, and tech companies.
Students from the University of California – Berkeley went so far as to plan to create a fake one-person course with the sole aim of undermining the regulation and helping foreign students avoid deportation.
A Facebook post circulated by students made clear that the course would serve no educational purpose for the student body at large and would be “ONLY for students who are international and need a physical component to remain in the United States.”
A court date was set for Tuesday, but Judge Allison Burroughs of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts announced instead that the universities had reached an agreement with both ICE and DHS.
“The Court was informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution to the combined temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction motions,” read the court docket. “The Government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 Policy Directive and the July 7, 2020 FAQ, and has also agreed to rescind their implementation.”
Dan Stein, resident of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), blasted the Trump administration for walking back from its original decision:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the correct initial determination to suspend the visas of students enrolled in universities offering only online education. International students are not immigrants, they are temporary visitors. There is no legal or practical reason justifying their continued presence in the United States if they were enrolled in online-only education. The initial rule already provided flexibility for students enrolled in schools utilizing hybrid or traditional approaches to reopening schools in the fall while protecting the F-1 and M-1 program from more fraud than already exists.
This, unfortunately, is yet another example of the administration caving to the pressure of the business lobby and open borders advocates who continue crafting the narrative that international students are somehow anything more than temporary visitors.
What many media outlets fail to point out is that the face-to-face policy which the administration attempted to re-implement was already the norm prior to March, when DHS suspended it due to the coronavirus.
What DHS did on July 6 was to modify that suspension, saying that international students must attend at least one face-to-face class to remain eligible for their F-1 student visas and work permits.
The DHS courtroom announcement ostensibly only applies to enrolled students, not to future students, though the administration’s surrender opens up the likely possibility that the universities will come back with another lawsuit to bring any foreigners into the country even if they’re only taking online courses.
This could open up a major can of worms in which new foreigners are able to get work permits in the United States by paying tuition fees to online-only colleges and applying to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs.
“If it is 100 percent online, with no requirement to show up for class … we’re getting into potential labor trafficking,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. “That’s why we have to get rid of OPT,” he said.
Approximately 500,000 foreign nationals use OPT and CPT work permits to obtain jobs sought by American college graduates. Many of these are at elite tech companies. For example, Amazon used the OPT program to hire 2,911 foreigners in 2018, while Intel hired 1,348, Google hired 1,193, and Microsoft hired 867.
Large corporations often prefer hiring foreign workers over Americans for a variety of reasons, including lower salary and benefit expectations and the fact that Americans can quit their jobs while foreign workers have a fear of potentially losing their visas if they quit.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American