WASHINGTON — The Trump Administration on July 14 announced that it would rescind a directive that would have forced international college students to transfer to a different school or return to their home country if their schools moved entirely to online classes in response to the coronavirus.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) had previously sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence expressing concern about the directive. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) welcomed the announcement and made the following statement:

“Instead of fighting coronavirus, President Trump and [senior adviser] Stephen Miller have tried to use the crisis as an excuse to spread xenophobia and deport international students. I’m thrilled to see that the Trump Administration reversed this problematic policy that should never have been made in the first place.

“International students are integral to our institutions of higher learning and the future growth of our country. Forcing students to go back to their home countries during a global pandemic, or forcing universities and colleges to reopen and risk the health of their communities is simply unjust and would have disproportionately impacted Asian students, who account for over 60% of all international students enrolled in U.S. institutions.

“It is no surprise that the announcement was met with immediate backlash from colleges, universities, tech companies, and government officials, including members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Today, due to that pressure, the Trump Administration was forced to back down.

“This is a wonderful victory and a reminder that we must continue to push back against Donald Trump’s dangerous attempts to use the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to further his anti-immigrant agenda.”

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