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Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, pedestrians walk through the gates of Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, July 8, 2020, challenging the Trump administration's decision to bar international students from staying in the U.S. if they take classes entirely online this fall. Some institutions, including Harvard, have announced that all instruction will be offered remotely in the fall during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the decision as a court hearing was getting underway on a challenge to the rule by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The suit was brought on by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and included Bucknell University, which argued that the policy was created unlawfully and that it contradicted previous guidance from federal immigration officials.

Under the policy, international students in the U.S. would have been forbidden from taking all of their courses online this fall. New visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online, which includes Harvard. Students already in the U.S. would have faced deportation if they didn’t transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily.

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