(CBS4/CNN) – Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined more than a dozen other states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration. The lawsuit, filed in Massachusetts on Monday, claims the administrations guidance to not allow foreign students to take online-only courses is “senseless.”
The new visa rule will make it harder for those students to stay in the country if their classes are moved entirely online.
Weiser says the rule could impact more than 1,000 international students studying in Colorado.
The attorneys general also said that the guidance, “fails to consider the harm to international students and their families whose lives will be upended” and that it “will also cause irreparable harm to the public health and the economy” of their states.
The effort is also the latest pushback on the guidance after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, announced last week the state would challenge the policy. Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology also filled lawsuits against the guidance last week and nearly 100 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS urging the department to rescind the policy.
Other states that joined in Monday’s lawsuit include: Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nevada, Minnesota, New Jersey, Colorado, Delaware, Oregon, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Michigan.
Visa requirements for students have always been strict and coming to the US to take online-only courses has been prohibited. ICE maintained that prohibition in its guidance, while providing some flexibility for hybrid models, meaning a mix of online and in-person classes.
The agency suggested that students currently enrolled in the US consider other measures, like transferring to schools with in-person instruction.
Acting Homeland Security chief Ken Cuccinelli told CNN’s Brianna Keilar last week, “If a school isn’t going to open or if they’re going to be 100% online, then we wouldn’t expect people to be here for that.”
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