Indiana’s two largest public universities are throwing their support behind a lawsuit challenging a new federal student visa policy from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The policy unveiled this week says international students cannot take only online classes at their colleges this fall. If they do, they run the risk of losing their visa status.
The guidance from ICE says if students can’t enroll in enough in-person classes, they should transfer schools or leave the country.
Now, Indiana University and Purdue University are supporting the lawsuit challenging the order. MIT and Harvard filed the suit earlier this week, seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of the policy.
In a statement, IU President Michael McRobbie called the ICE policy “cruel and ill-judged.”
“Forcing international students whose universities have opted for online-only instruction this fall to transfer to another institution or leave the country is simply wrong, misguided and indefensible,” he said in a statement.
And Thursday, Purdue tweeted it would support the education needs of international students in “every way possible.”
What About Ball State University?
As for Ball State University, a statement released this week says it values international students, and is advising them to “enroll in face-to-face or hybrid classes as much as possible, although more than one online/distance class can make up part of a full course load.”
Ball State will transition to all-online classes for the last three weeks of the fall semester and says it’s checking with the federal government on how that will affect international students.
Stephanie Wiechmann contributed to this story.