On July 13, attorney generals for 17 states and the District of Columbia, led by Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Boston to seek an injunction blocking the ICE July 6 rule that would force up to a million foreign students in the US, mainly from India and China to chose between disease and deportation by forcing them to attend in person classes which many schools and colleges are reluctant to offer because of the danger of coronavirus infection. This sudden change in ICE policy, which had previously exempted foreign students in the US from attending in person for the duration of the coronavirus epidemic, was issued without any advance notice, warning or explanation.

It clearly goes against the decision of Chief Justice Roberts in the recent DACA case in which he ruled that sudden changes in DHS policy which do not explain or take into account the effect on immigrants who relied on the previous policy are in violation of the APA prohibition against arbitrary and capricious actions by administrative agencies.

The new ICE policy, which the Trump administration has so far provided no coherent defense or explanation for, is obviously intended to accomplish two major Trump election goals: first, to keep anti-immigrant racism at the front and center of his re-election campaign through mass expulsion of hundreds of thousands of mainly Asian students; second, to promote Trump's dangerous, delusional fantasy that Cpvid-19 is somehow not really a proble, or is somehow under control, Forcing schools to reopen of in-person classes is now a key part of foisting this irrational denial of reality on the American people, of whom more than 3 million have become infected and more than 135,000 have already died.


Most ominous of all, Trump is now claiming the power, in affect to wipe out the entire F-1 and other foreign student visa categories established by law and deport up to a million immigrants who are legally in the United States with legal visas purely by his own diktat. This is a recipe for fascism in the United States.

For a NY Times report on the lawsuit, see:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/13/us/f1-student-visas-trump.html

For a Washington Post story on the effect of Trump's latest racist action on Indian students in particular, see:, July 13:


Trump administration's move on visas is 'dream-crashing for Indian students and families

No one should imagine for even a moment that the new, bigoted ICE rule is meant to affect foreign students only. To the contrary, it is a clear signal that all visa categories are at risk, immigrant as well as nonimmigrant.

The new ICE rule can only be understood an extension of the Trump-Miller assault on the H-1B visa, which also mainly affects applicants from India and China. These latest moves are yet another clear signal that non-European immigrants are not welcome in Donald Trump's America, and that our system of laws that were enacted to protect their legal and human rights are in the process of being thrown out by this administration, as Donald Trump and his enablers move this country ever closer to becoming a fascist dictatorship.



Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B.
Harvard College A.B.