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ICE backs off racist extortion racket

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This is a big deal:

DHS still may try to implement some restrictions on incoming students, and there are still a lot of problems created by American consulates being shuttered, but for now international students in the US have a massive source of anxiety and uncertainty removed and universities won’t be forced to choose between public health and having international students deported during a pandemic. There was an effective pushback against this and Mark Tushnet has a good (if admittedly speculative) analysis of why their legal position was strong.

…more here:

The unexpected decision was welcome news to students across the country who had been on edge.

“I feel relief,” said Andrea Calderon, a 29-year-old biology graduate student from Ecuador. “It would have been a very big problem if I had to leave the country right now.”

The City College of New York student said returning home would have made it much harder to finish her thesis and pursue a Ph.D. Internet access at home in Ecuador is spotty, and going through the process to come back to the U.S. in the future would be too expensive, she said.

The American Council on Education, which represents university presidents, praised ICE’s pullback of the rule. The group said the policy was misguided from the start and drew unprecedented opposition from colleges.

“There has never been a case where so many institutions sued the federal government,” said Terry Hartle, the group’s senior vice president. “In this case, the government didn’t even try to defend its policymaking.”

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