Attorney General Ellison joins lawsuit challenging ICE rule impacting international students

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is joining a lawsuit to challenge a new rule from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would impact the visas for international students.

Under the new ICE directive, nonimmigrant students taking a fully online course load would not be allowed to stay in the United States. Due to the pandemic, many colleges and universities have been using online learning in order to allow for social distancing. 

Monday, Ellison joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The lawsuit argues the new rule is an "abrupt reversal" of previous guidance and does not take the health of students, faculty and staff into account.

“Every community in Minnesota benefits from international students who make their home here, whether it’s for a year or two or a lifetime. The economic, social, and cultural value that International students bring to Minnesota has made us one of the most resilient economies in America and helps us all afford our lives. They deserve to live with the same dignity and respect that all Minnesotans do,” Attorney General Ellison said in part in a press release. 

Last week, universities across the country, including the University of Minnesota, showed support for the lawsuit by filing amicus briefs. This fall due to COVID-19 concerns, the U of M is planning on offering a hybrid of in-person and online classes, which would allow students to maintain their visas.