A Homeland Security official said that the decision of the Trump administration to ban foreign students from taking online-only classes “would allow schools to reopen” while retaining “fraud protection” that is required in international visa programs. The US State Department does not grant visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are entirely online for the fall semester, nor will US Customs and Border Protection allow those students to enter the US, the ICE release said.
In an interview with CNN, acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said, “The existing laws, regulations regulating international students require at most one online class and so we are dramatically increasing the flexibility to a degree never done before so that schools can use hybrid models and can design reopening.”
The latest rules have made foreign students worry, most of whom come from China and India. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Homeland Security Department and the ICE after the authorities released new rules that prohibited international students from staying in the U.S. if their universities transferred online classes in the fall.