Education

Trump Says Foreign Students Won’t Be Admitted For Online Programmes

The United States announced it will not take in any new foreign students seeking online-only study, after rescinding a hotly contested order to expel those already here and preparing for that because of the pandemic.

The policy change was announced in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

President Donald Trump has made a tough line on immigration a cornerstone of his message and has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.

The original policy change of revoking the visas of foreign students whose classes will move online in the autumn was taken to court by top universities including Harvard and MIT, teachers unions and at least 18 states.

And on July 14 the administration reversed course and rescinded the decision.

That measure had been seen as a move by Trump to put pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump is eager for schools at all levels to reopen with in-person classes as a sign of a return to normality as he fights an uphill battle for re-election in November.

He is pushing for this even though the virus is out of control in some states, with the US death toll a world-high of more than 144,000.

His administration is leaving it largely up to states themselves to figure out how to open schools safely.

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