The Trump administration announced international students will have to leave the United States, or face possible deportation, if the college or university they attend switches to online-only classes in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Similarly, international students enrolled in colleges or universities offering only online courses this fall will be barred from entering the U.S.
The news comes as some colleges and universities, including Harvard University, say they will only offer online classes in the fall to protect students and staff from the new coronavirus.
The move, a reversal from the spring when international students were allowed to remain in the U.S. to attend online-only classes, could represent a major economic blow to colleges and universities as well as local communities over the loss of tuition and other revenue from international students who typically pay full price.
It comes at a time when colleges and universities are are already implementing layoffs, furloughs and other cost-clotting measures to offset a loss in revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic as more and more students opt to defer attending college.
US coronavirus map: Tracking the outbreak
The move drew immediate criticism from immigration advocates who say it is part of the Trump administration’s ongoing attempt to restrict legal and illegal immigration into the U.S.
The new policy, issued in a memo by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is “clearly designed to chase foreign students out of the United States and to bar foreign students who were coming to the U.S. from entering the