WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s decision to rescind a rule that would have forced international students to leave the country if their colleges hold classes online this fall. The decision comes as the Department of Homeland Security was being sued over that new policy by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many others around the country:
“Today is a victory not only for immigrant students in America but for the country as a whole, which benefits daily from the contributions of students who come here from abroad to study, research, learn and contribute to our discourse and our economy. Immigrant students help make our colleges and universities the lively and vibrant places they are. It’s no surprise that instead of dealing with the mounting public health, economic and racial justice crises facing our country, President Trump chose to attack the immigrant community and use them as political pawns ahead of the November election. But today shows that courts still rely on the Constitution and basic freedoms to push back against Trump’s xenophobic and racist aims. It is a victory for justice, fairness and inclusion.
“The AFT joined the Communications Workers of America, the Service Employees International Union, and the United Auto Workers in filing an amicus brief in support of Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit against Trump and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Our combined 600,000 graduate workers with F-1 visas, who provide essential education and research services to universities as they pursue their education in the United States, as well as other university faculty and staff, can rest a little easier today. They can know that they are safe in this country no matter what format their school chooses when it reopens in the fall, and that their education will not be used as a political bargaining chip in the president’s re-election campaign.”