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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.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2020 - Technology

Why education technology can’t save remote learning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus-sparked shift to widespread remote work has been generally smooth because most modern offices were already using a raft of communication, collaboration and administrative tools. Remote learning has faced a much rougher transition.

Why it matters: Even the best technology can't eliminate the inherent problems of virtual schooling. Several key technological stumbling blocks have persisted in keeping remote learning from meeting its full potential, experts tell Axios.

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.