Trump Administration rescinds proposed visa rules on international students after multi-state lawsuit


In a dramatic reversal, the Trump administration today rescinded its own rules that would have required international students, including thousands in Minnesota, to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Trump administration pulled its recently-announced rules in the face of multiple lawsuits, including a lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison together with a coalition of 17 other attorneys general.  

That lawsuit, which decried the federal government’s effort as a “cruel, abrupt, and unlawful action to expel international students amidst the pandemic,” was led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and filed in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“The Trump Administration’s new rules were so cruel and unlawful that even they couldn’t defend them,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Every community in Minnesota benefits from international students, so every community in Minnesota is a winner today. Above all, I’m glad that the thousands of international students and their families, who bring so much value to Minnesota, will be able to continue to live here with dignity and respect.”

Today’s announcement brings relief to thousands of international students who would have been impacted by the rule along with the many colleges and universities whose plans to limit in-person instruction in favor of remote learning had been upended in light of the Trump Administration policy.

Attorney General Ellison was joined in filing the lawsuit by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who led it, and the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Information provided by the Office of the Minnesota Attorney