Jul 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

California sues Trump administration over student visa policy

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in 2019.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week that could force some foreign students to leave the U.S.

Why it matters: California is the first state to challenge the administration's rule, which amid the coronavirus pandemic, requires international college students to "depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

What they're saying: "Shame on the Trump administration for risking not only the education opportunities for students who earned the chance to go to college but now their health and well-being as well,” Becerra said Thursday, according to NBC News.

The big picture: The lawsuit marks the 86th legal action the state of California has filed against the Trump administration, per NBC, and comes one day after Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block the federal guidance.

  • Nearly 100 members of Congress signed a letter led by Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Thursday asking the administration to reconsider the guidance.
  • "The proposed policy throws the lives of hundreds of thousands of students, and the operations of hundreds of colleges and universities, into uncertainty just weeks before the start of the fall term, to the detriment of the United States and its institutions of higher education," the letter reads.

Go deeper: Trump to expand coronavirus-related immigration restrictions

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