US colleges file lawsuit against immigration policy that affects int’l students

October 27, 2018

Some educational institutions in the US, including The New School, a New York-based private research university which hosts one of the highest proportion of international students, has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over a recent policy change that adversely impacts these students, the Times of India reported on Friday.

Under this policy, international students, for no fault of theirs, could find themselves barred from entering the US for three to 10 years. Students automatically begin to accrue “unlawful presence” in the US, the day after they violate their “student status” even if their granted tenure of stay has not expired. The change was announced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and came into force from August 9.

With this, many students had to disrupt their studies to avoid the re-entry bar. Haverford College, Pennsylvania had to ask two students to leave based on potential status violation. The petition says, “This upset the crucial student-university relationship and has irreparably disrupted these students’ educational plans and Haverford has lost tuition fee as a result.” More than one in 10 students of the 1,300 students in this college hold an F-1 visa.

The New School, which has 3,600 students on F-1 visa, an F-1 alumni of 900 students undergoing optional practical training and nearly 100 students on J visa, also provided similar case studies. A student took a semester long leave out of fear of accruing unlawful presence under the new policy, TOI reported.

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