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ICE rescinds recent directive regarding international students following lawsuits from universities

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat

A coalition of silent protesters walked down University Boulevard to hand deliver letters to President Robbins on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, explaining their frustrations with the charges against the "Arizona 3" regarding the students who are being criminally charged after an incident with Border Patrol on March 19. Members of the protest wore shirts with "No ICE/ BP on Campus" written on them.

On July 14, the Trump administration rescinded the ICE rule that would require international students to leave the United States should their university go fully online.* This decision follows multiple lawsuits filed by universities, including the University of Arizona. 

UA President Robert C. Robbins released a statement following the the ICE decision.**

"We are pleased that the Trump administration rescinded this guidance and that international students will not have to choose between their education and their health and safety," Robbins said in an email. "This change appropriately recognizes our international students for their perseverance and determination to complete their degree plans. We are very pleased to welcome international students back to the University of Arizona, and we are committed to ensuring they are treated equitably."

UA announced Monday, July 13 they joined the coalition of 20 other universities in a lawsuit against the recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive. 

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction to stop the directive from being implemented and enforced.

On July 6, ICE announced that students attending universities in the United States on F-1 and M-1 visas must leave the country if the university goes fully online. Additionally, students at universities who are conducting in-person classes are not allowed to take more than one class online; students attending universities that are using a hybrid model can take more than one class online. 

RELATED: New ICE directive jeopardizes fall semester for UA international students

The lawsuit was filed today in Oregon and also includes Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, in addition to the UA. 

"Thousands of students are now subjected to these threats and living in fear of what might befall them," the filing said. "And the new rule does not give schools enough time to find ways to protect their international students from having their lives radically transformed by this new agency action."

The coalition issued a joint statement explaining the lawsuit.

"Our more than 50,000 combined international students are an integral part of our communities and essential to our core missions," the statement said. "We are pursuing this case because all international students studying in this country deserve the right to continue their education without risk of deportation."

President Robbins said in an email Monday many of the university's 3,700 international students stayed in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The University of Arizona is committed to providing a safe and effective learning environment for all students," Robbins said in the email. "As this legal matter moves forward, the University‚Äôs Global team is working hard to determine the best path forward for each and every one of our international students." 

*Editor's Note: This article has been updated with the recent decision regarding the ICE directive. 

**Editor's Note: This article has been updated with a statement from President Robbins regarding the ICE directive.


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