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Protect Their Students

The Department of Homeland Security has faced a barrage of lawsuits filed by universities across the country following the July 6 ruling. International students were to be barred from the U.S. if classes had been converted to the online medium exclusively, stated the judgement. Educational institutes such as Harvard University and MIT along with the Northeastern University were among the many who filed lawsuits against this ruling to protect their students. However, on Tuesday, Judge Allison D. Burroughs at the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts annulled this rule. This ensured that international students now have no mandatory rule to have in-person classes to remain in the country.


“American higher education has always been one of the principal magnets of global talent to the U.S. We must continue to make our universities, and our nation, a welcome place for students and scholars from all over the world”, said Joseph E. Aoun, President of Northeastern University. However, the July 6 ruling put this whole concept into jeopardy. Student all across the U.S. saw their future in jeopardy. They felt that they would have to return to their homeland without completing their course of education. The colleges felt the need to protect their students under these dire circumstances.


Northeastern University filed a lawsuit against the ruling even though they were sure that their 13,000 international students would be safe to remain in the country pertaining to their Hybrid Nuflex policy. The university maintained that such a ruling would be inhumane during this time of pandemic to the students. Furthermore, it would severely affect the economy and public health of the U.S. Maura Healy, the attorney general of Massachusetts, described this ruling in terms of “cruel, abrupt, and unlawful action.”


The Tuesday ruling cancelled the July 6 declaration. It lasted 5 minutes Judge Burroughs stated that Homeland Security must go back to its previous reforms. These reforms had been devised in March and were sensible to all parties involved during these devious times. “On behalf of our international students and our global community, we celebrate this decision,” said Jigisha B. Patel, the university’s associate general counsel and chief advisor for international and immigration services. The university  continues to post regular updates for the benefit of its students. It is also extending help to the students for navigating the various immigration rules.


Atreyee Chakraborty