On Monday, July 13, a coalition of 20 universities from multiple states – including the University of Arizona – filed a lawsuit challenging a recent order from the federal government that requires international students to attend in-person classes during the current pandemic, or face deportation.
The lawsuit, issued in a federal court in Eugene, Oregon, states that that ICE's order was made without warning and without any input from the schools or students directly affected by it and that the federal government's rationale for the order was to coerce schools to reopen.
Other universities on the lawsuit include the University of Southern California, University of Oregon, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and Stanford University.
"This about-face shook the entire academic community," the lawsuit states. "Schools that had spent months carefully planning for their Fall semester are suddenly faced with a need to completely redesign their academic programming for the Fall, or risk having their F-1 students expelled from the country for failing to attend in-person courses... In addition to revoking the exemption for remote learning, ICE demanded that schools intending to offer purely online instruction submit an operational change plan by July 15—just nine days later—with other schools having until just August 1 to submit their plans. And all schools with F-1 students are required to submit new I-20 Forms for each of the thousands of F-1 students that have enrolled for the Fall semester."