Attorney General James’ Statement on Trump Administration Rescinding Dangerous Directive Threatening to Deport International Students if In-Person Classes Did Not Resume

AG James Filed Lawsuit to Stop ICE and DHS from Enforcing Directive That Could Have
Potentially Spread Coronavirus to Students, Faculty, and Residents Across New York

Colleges and Universities Across New York Supported AG James’ Lawsuit

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after the Trump Administration’s U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agreed in court to rescind a directive from last week that threatened deportation of more than 100,000 international students at colleges and universities across New York and more than a million across the nation if they did not register for in-person classes on campuses this fall:

“This is welcome news for more than 100,000 international students in New York, more than one million students across the country, and millions of additional families across the world,” said Attorney General James. “President Trump and his team threatened the public health and safety of all students, all faculty, and hundreds of millions of residents across New York and the rest of the nation because of his rush to reopen schools, his anti-immigrant motives, and his sagging poll numbers. Enough is enough. It’s time for the president to stop treating immigrants like nothing more than scapegoats and for him to start leading our nation through this national pandemic. Politics should have never been a factor in our nation’s public health decisions, but as long as the president continues down this path, we will continue to use every legal tool at our disposal to stop him.”

Attorney General James, yesterday, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for suddenly reversing a March 13 waiver that would allow international students to take online classes this fall in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The suit argued that ICE’s major policy reversal threatened public health, students’ educations, and New York’s larger economy. The lawsuit Attorney General James filed will remain active at this time.