U of M shows support for lawsuit against ICE directive impacting international students

The University of Minnesota is showing its support for a lawsuit challenging a new rule from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would impact the visas for international students.

Thursday, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced the school will join an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is asking the court to overturn the directive. A number of universities across the country are also filing amicus briefs.

Under the new ICE directive, nonimmigrant students taking a fully online course load would not be allowed to stay in the United States. 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.

“However, we cannot stand by in good conscience as international students are forced out of the country through no fault of their own," said Gabel in a statement. "Educational institutions across the country are offering expanded online learning opportunities to comply with the public health advice given by another federal agency—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—to reduce large gatherings, promote physical distancing and take other precautions to minimize the spread and impact of COVID-19."

There are nearly 6,200 international students in the U of M system.