California set to become first state to file lawsuit against Trump administration’s new international student visa policy

California is suing US President Donald Trump’s administration over its policy threatening the visas of foreign students whose courses move online thanks to coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

The lawsuit to be filed by the state’s attorney general comes as Trump pushes for the country’s education facilities to reopen whilst virus infections still spike, particularly within the south and west.

“The Trump Administration’s unlawful policy… threatens to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and exile many thousands of school students studying within the us ,” said a press release announcing the suit.

On Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said foreign students enrolled in fully online programs for the autumn semester wouldn’t be allowed to enter the country.

The measure was seen as a move by the White House to place pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

But California State University — a plaintiff within the suit — is among those getting to offer mostly online-only education to their quite 10,000 foreign students, also as US students, this fall.

“Shame on the Trump Administration for risking not only the education opportunities for college kids who earned the prospect to travel to school , but now their health and well-being also ,” said Attorney General Becerra.

Forcing Californian universities and colleges to open in-person classes would threaten their finances and will turn them into “super-spreaders” of the disease, Becerra said.

The federal prosecutor for heavily Democratic California — who has filed dozens of lawsuits over the Republican president’s policies — added: “We’ll see the Trump Administration in court.”

Harvard University, which also plans online-only classes next year, filed a separate lawsuit against the policy on Wednesday, along side MIT.

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