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Colleges’ suit over ICE policy resolved

The federal government has agreed to rescind the recently announced federal policy that would have barred all international students from remaining in the United States if they took only online classes.

U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs announced the agreement at the outset of what was supposed to have been a July 14 hearing on the request of plaintiffs Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to block the policy.

That request is now moot, Burroughs declared, given that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement July 6 policy directive and July 7 Frequently Asked Question documents were being rescinded on a nationwide basis.

The abrupt resolution to the case came after a feverish weekend’s worth of writing that saw 12 amicus briefs filed in support of the plaintiffs.

The 11th-hour resolution came a day before the deadline by which colleges and universities that planned to offer classes entirely online would have needed to submit an “operational change plan” to ICE.

By Aug. 4, schools that planned to offer a hybrid model of in-person and online instruction also would have had to provide an updated certification of eligibility as to each student holding an F-1 visa.

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