Pressure from Federal Lawsuits Make Trump Administration Back Off ICE Guidelines Over International Students

By Matheus Maynard

Staff Writer


After several federal lawsuits, the Trump administration decides to back off from new controversial guidelines for international students that would require these students to take in-person classes to maintain their visa status.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released, on July 6, new guidelines for international students that would restrict them for continuing online education for the Fall semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most universities and colleges are having all of their classes in an online environment.

 International students would have been required to search for colleges with in-person classes or leave the country to maintain their visa status. ICE also threatened deportation for those who did not abide by these rules

 This decision could affect over 1 million international students, according to CNN, and cost U.S. colleges $41 billion, according to CNBC.

Several universities, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), filed lawsuits against this decision. Following Harvard and MIT, the state of California, endorsed by leaders of the California State University and California Community College systems, sued the federal government as well.

According to AP, “U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said federal immigration authorities agreed to pull the July 6 directive and ‘return to the status quo.’”

The White House, however, intends on enforcing this ruling over new international students.

City College has a sizable international student population, and this decision could affect drastically its students since City College will be having most of their classes online in the Fall.

The Office of International Program (OIP), following this decision, provided its international students with a FAQ sheet and promised to compile a list of all classes having in-person meetings by the end of July. Fortunately, none of this will be necessary for the continuing international students of City College.



Fran Smith– The Guardsman Online Editor

In response to the current changes, the Interim Chancellor Rajen Vurdien responded with this email:


From: <> on behalf of CCSF Distribution Email <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2020 3:16 PM
To: ‘‘ <>

Dear CCSF Community,


It is with great joy that I share the following news: the recent ICE rule requiring international students to attend in-person classes has been revoked! This means our international students on F1 visas can remain in the United States while taking classes remotely.


This huge victory is thanks to the advocacy efforts of City College in partnership with educational institutions across the country, whose swift collective action overturned this unjust and inhumane ruling. The Office of International Student Programs is available to answer any questions you may have – and we are truly grateful for all of our international students.


Thank you,

Rajen Vurdien, Ph.D.

Interim Chancellor

City College of San Francisco

The Guardsman