Government Rescinds July 6 Directive on Student Visa Rules

Online-only and hybrid students' visa status safe (at least for now)


The federal government's July 6 Directive announcing a change to student visa rules, which imperiled the status of online-only and hybrid international students, is being rescinded after much protest and multiple lawsuits by universities and states. The news was announced a few minutes ago at a hearing for the lawsuit by Harvard and MIT, which had been followed by lawsuits initiated by California and seventeen other states. This moots the TRO motion by Harvard/MIT and should conclude these various proceedings.

I do not have any further information at this time as to what led to the government's decision, so we are left to speculate about whether public pressure and/or the likelihood of another judicial defeat for the Trump Administration motivated it. In any case, it was the right call and hopefully puts the issue to rest for some time–ideally until COVID-19 is no longer a danger to public health.

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  1. Rule of Law has now officially become a joke — in a way, I almost hope Biden gets elected so Trump-appointed judges can impale him with national injunctions too.

    Trump will get re-elected and he will get a de-RINOed Republican Congress (much like FDR did in 1936), and I don’t think that Higher Education will be forgotten, or forgiven.

    1. Defunding higher ed is becoming increasingly popular. I would be in favor of letting big private schools which huge endowments figure out their own finances. They don’t need government backed loans or grants.

    2. What the hell are you babbling about? What do judges and injunctions have to do with this decision?

      1. David,
        I feel like you have never read any of the 300 posts by Dr. Ed. I’m not disagreeing with your ‘blathering’ observation. I’m merely surprised that you’re surprised. What exactly in this bot’s posting history would have suggested to you that anything written would be remotely tethered to reality?

        1. Someone’s been asleep the past three years,

  2. The DHS now has time to issue a public notice asking for commentary on the conditions to rescind the temporary waiver in the fall when 2nd wave covid plus flu make their weight felt.

    1. Good point. If Trump has any sort of good faith position about this; this is exactly what his administration would/will be doing. Now, or in the next week or so. I take it that neither you nor I are holding our breath re anything actually coming out of DHS on this.

    2. But then they’ll argue “well it’s during the school year, and we couldn’t POSSIBLY move now. There are classes”.

  3. “ideally until COVID-19 is no longer a danger to public health.”
    in other words, 18 months from now.

    1. And in 18 months the song of the open borderers will be “we must thank the international students who kept our universities afloat during Covid by giving them citizenship….”

      Think I’m joking? Just you wait. Come back 18 months from now and tell me I was wrong.

      1. You don’t need to wait 18 months to know that’s going to happen.

        Joe Biden’s campaign website

        “Joe Biden will work with Congress to pass legislation that:

        Creates a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million people who have been living in and strengthening our country for years.”

        It’s part of the not particularly secret Democratic plan to entrench their party: Naturalize all the illegal immigrants, who are expected to basically all vote Democratic.

        1. Oh trust me. The college educated students won’t be illegible for citizenship. Only the illegals will be. Thus is our messed up immigration system.

          1. Pardon me if I don’t trust you.

        2. We should offer a deal to all of the low IQ Latin American “immigrants.” You either go home, the way you are, or you get citizenship, but that comes with mandatory sterilization. Take your pick.

      2. “Think I’m joking?”

        No, you’re a joyless, humorless moron.

        1. Someone is a sour-puss.

          1. Since when does making a factual statement mean someone is a sourpuss?

            1. The two are not mutually exclusive.

          2. Hey, by internet insult standards, “sourpuss” is practically a compliment. 🙂

      3. This was our Dred Scott decision.

        1. You do love your drama.

    2. COVID-19 is forever. Anti bodies to COVID-19 go away in about 3 months. So any vaccination will probably last 3 month. Probably we are looking at a future where everyone has to get monoclonal antibody injection every 2 months! And before you say that you are healthy and would like to take your chances, it has recently been discovered that people who were asymptomatic, have lung damage. Are you really willing to risk it? Anyway there are probably people who will refuse, leading to a place for COVID19 to have a reservoir. Also COVID-19 can hang out in certain animals. So COVID-19 is the new normal. Get used to it.

      In addition, influential people have been lying. What else is new? COVID-19 was probably made in a lab. How did that polybasic furin cleavage site PRRA get inserted into covid-19? In addition, Jeffery Epstein probably did not commit suicide.

      1. “Anti bodies to COVID-19 go away in about 3 months. ”

        Good grief. Don’t you realize we haven’t been studying Covid 19 long enough to actually know that?

        1. Yeah, this is the latest hysteria from a single not-yet-reviewed working paper.
          It’s a concern, but it’s not anything like prove yet.

          Of course…influential people have been lying. What else is new? COVID-19 was probably made in a lab.


  4. More accurate headline:

    “Trump administration saves country from horrific precedent from John Roberts 8 months from now.”

    1. I think the way things are going, granting temporary relief from regulations is going to stop as it will take too much effort to ensure its actually temporary.

      1. That does seem to be the practical consequence of this. At best such waivers will only be in the form of informal discretion without any formal announcements that might let people make plans.

  5. So, time for them to announce that there won’t be a modified waiver, they’re just going back to enforcing the law as written, and dare the courts to tell them they can’t?

  6. As always, we see the Trump dance:

    1. Trump proposes something stupid and/or bad.
    2. Trump gets tons of criticism for it.
    3. Trumpkins rush to defend Trump and explain how his decision is both justified and brilliant.
    4. Trump loses interest and moves on to something else, leaving the Trumpkins who stuck up for him holding the bag.

    1. Replace Trump with Obama and it still makes perfect sense.

    2. Exactly. In this case, it was an ill-conceived & poorly thought-out piece of petty mischief. You’d think the Trumpians would be gladly rid of it, given they’re required to make excuses for everything their man does, says, and tweets – a herculean task similar to mucking the Augean stables.

      Instead they show up here, dour and muttering. Cheated of this week’s childish prank from Trump. It’s so unfair !!

      1. The stupid thing that the Admin did was announcing a waiver in the first place. The rule could not have been applied and did not apply mid-term for any students who were in the US with a student visa and taking in-person courses.

        Those who had only been taking online courses for the spring term would not have gotten a visa in the fists place.

        The second stupid thing was not announcing that the waiver would expire at the termination of the spring term.

        1. Yes, and yes.

  7. Academics at universities, many of whom are Marxists or otherwise foes of liberty and American values, live off the taxpayers, thanks in large part to the unlimited government “loans” given to students, the terms of which include forgiveness and only somewhat resemble actual loans.

    These visas are yet another way in which the universities profit richly off the backs of the citizenry through government largesse.

    1. These visas are yet another way in which the universities profit richly off the backs of the citizenry through government largesse.

      That’s totally stupid. Foreign students tend to pay full freight, which helps finance lower tuition for American students.

      1. Bernard,
        ” finance lower tuition” is not really accurate. The tuitions are still sky high, but the university actually provides partial support to make an effective sliding scale of tuition.

      2. No bernard – it only helps raise salaries and build facilities and increase bureaucracies. Tuition charged is generally “whatever they can get away with.”

        Our mass immigration policies, which are unprecedented in human history, are a detriment to citizens for example because it keeps wages lower. That’s why the chamber of commerce big business lobby cares about this more than any other issue.

        1. Don is correct. M L isn’t.

        2. it only helps raise salaries and build facilities and increase bureaucracies.

          And why is that bad?

          Our mass immigration policies, which are unprecedented in human history, are a detriment to citizens for example because it keeps wages lower.

          How do students lower wages? Don’t they raise them instead, by stimulating demand, including for those new facilities you’re so upset about.

          Do you even care if the bile you post makes any sense at all?

    2. Exactly why it is time to defund these left wing indoctrination camps. Let the “elite” schools with billions of dollars in endowments fund their own echo chambers. No need for taxpayer money or government backed loans.

    3. Which is why I’d love for a foreign terrorist to nuke one of our liberal campuses.

      1. Come on, Prof. Volokh! Surely now, that’s sufficient.

  8. Best it never happened, but this almost the best outcome once the waiver was rescinded.

    Note that all the work visa freezes (H-1B, J-1, L-1) are still in place, and there’s evidence that they reduce both the number and the quality of international students that want to come to the US.

    1. And this is a bad thing?

      1. If you don’t like the best students at our universities helping us do our research, it is.

        1. Ah, but S-0, that visa rule never affected those grad students. They were always and continued to be covered by being registered for credit for in-person research.

          1. Yeah – sorry if I left the impression that it did. This is a _different_ rule, legit new by the administration, freezing those permits due to the economic emergency caused by COVID.

            It has a bunch of factual findings in it, which is good. They are largely based on Borjas, which is bad.

  9. Columbia University argued that International Students, who comprise almost a third of their student base, enrich the whole academic experience. So they come to the the USA on student visas, reside in Florida, California, Mississippi, Iowa and Montana, and Zoom in for classes, contributing so much more than having Zoomed in from OUS? Who in their right mind rents and apartment in NYC to lockdown in one of the most expensive cities in the US?

    1. That’s the beauty. By then NYC won’t be on lockdown, so all the international students will be crowding the bars, living the life, just in time for the second wave of COVID to come through, and another lockdown to be needed

      1. so all the international students will be crowding the bars, living the life,

        Those not plottimg to kill us.

    2. That argument is just a perversion of the rational for the student visa system. The Columbia argument in court is a loser. It would have been a loser in 2012 and it is a loser now. When they live in FL, who are they contributing to? some damned retirement community?
      Tourist bring more enrichment to the US than that.
      I have had many talented international students in class. Did you get that? In class, that is what the visa is for and that is what brings enrichment.

  10. I couldn’t agree more. If the government really wants to give a $120,000 loan to an 18 year old or $250,000 to a 22 yr old (grad school) that scarcely needs to be repaid depending on income, the young people would be much better off using it to buy a house or start a business. Anything but giving it to the useless social theorists, Maoists, dim-witted bureaucrats and thought police that comprise much of higher “education.”

    True education is vital, and that’s exactly why these regimes need to change, and why education shouldn’t be centrally controlled by the government. Degrees and credentials are a related but separate matter, and these could be handled very efficiently, you administer a test and print some pieces of paper.

    1. ^ should have been a reply to Jimmy the Dane above.

      1. I’m unsurprised that you and JTD see eye to eye.

        1. Well of course he agrees with me because I am very right.

          The government shouldn’t be in the business of creating newly an underclass of debt slaves, under the guise of “educating” them in left wing indoctrination centers. If a private bank were to enjoy the protections students loans have from bankruptcy, the Left (and rightfully so) would have a field day protesting the predatory business. But hey “education is priceless” so why not let an 18 year old go $200,000 in debt to get it?

          A four year degree really isn’t worth that much. At most schools it is a joke. Nothing but a litmus test for private employers seeking just another “non-discriminatory” way of sorting through piles of applications.

          And if the value of a 4 year degree is as high as some claim it to be, then let the “value” of that degree ride in the marketplace. If a university will take the risk of giving a student education based upon loans then that is the same risk many private lenders take. They don’t need the backstop of preferential treatment in bankruptcy. My guess is if this were to happen though university enrollment would drop 50% in a year.

          So let us defund higher education and transfer that money to real programs that provide job training to young people. Why not give them a grant to apprentice with a professional for a year. Or learn a trade. Or take management classes. Those would provide real value.

          1. Real ‘merkins don’t need no book-larnin’.


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