Trump administration drops plan to deport foreign students amid lawsuits

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has abandoned plans to deport international students amid the coronavirus pandemic after two of the nation’s top universities sued immigration authorities.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won a legal battle on Tuesday challenging new immigration guidelines that said international students would face being deported if they took their classes entirely online in the fall, according to multiple reports.

US District Judge Allison D. Burroughs made the announcement during a teleconferenced hearing after the top colleges brought the legal challenge last week.

The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued the new guidelines as President Trump increased pressure on the nation’s schools and colleges to return to in-person learning as soon as possible.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut federal funding for schools that do not reopen in the fall.

The immigration guidelines would have left hundreds of thousands of international students in limbo, with the American Council on Education calling the policy “horrifying.”

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