Harvard University and MIT are suing the US Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the Harvard Crimson reports.
The Trump Administration announced Monday that international students could have their visas revoked if they were not attending any in-person classes, according to the New York Times. It adds that this announcement by the White House has been viewed as means of pressuring universities to open for in-person classes in the fall, despite concerns about spreading COVID-19.
Harvard announced it would be opening its dorms to house up to 40 percent of students on campus, but that all classes would take place online, the Crimson notes.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prevent DHS and ICE from enforcing this new directive, it adds. In a statement Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow calls the measure "bad public policy" and possibly "illegal," according to the Crimson.
"ICE is unable to offer the most basic answers about how its policy will be interpreted or implemented," MIT President Rafael Reif writes in an email to the MIT community. "And the guidance comes after many US colleges and universities either released or are readying their final decisions for the fall — decisions designed to advance their educational mission and protect the health and safety of their communities."