Jul 13, 2020 - Technology

Big Tech firms back suing Trump administration over rule that could drive out foreign students

A photo of the Harvard University campus.

Harvard University campus. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech companies are joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to push back on the Trump administration's bid to bar foreign students from staying in the U.S. if their colleges are only offering online classes in the fall.

Why it matters: Big Tech and big U.S. business at large rely on attracting top minds from around the world. The companies argue that American education and economic health would suffer if international students are forced out.

Driving the news: The Chamber of Commerce is leading a brief in federal court, filed Monday morning, in support of Harvard and MIT, which sued the Department of Homeland Security last week.

  • Salesforce and Spotify are among the other companies on the amicus brief, which asks a federal judge in Boston to force the administration to halt or slow the enforcement of guidance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would bar people in the U.S. on student visas from taking a full course load online.

What they’re saying: "These students contribute substantially to the U.S. economy when they are resident in the United States," the parties say in the brief, stating that they will be harmed if the administration’s directive goes into effect.

  • They contend the administration didn't perform the proper analysis required under the Administrative Procedure Act in issuing its guidance, "failing to consider the consequences of their decision for the U.S. business community and the business community’s very substantial reliance interests."

Correction: Due to an editing error, this story mischaracterized the request being made in the brief. The parties want the judge to block or slow ICE’s enforcement of the rule, not block ICE from slowing its enforcement. The story has been corrected.

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