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MIT and Harvard file suit against new ICE regulations (news.mit.edu)
365 points by andytgl 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 371 comments



I spent 45 minutes this morning trying to get to the bottom of this whole thing - as usual there is more nuance to this than presented.

- For as far back as I could find, students that wanted to qualify for a student visa to study in the US could take at most one online course per semester. The rest of the coursework had to be in-person.

- Starting in the spring of this year, the SEVP program (part of ICE) created exemptions so students could continue to stay in the US even though universities had moved entirely online. These exemptions were for Spring and Summer and universities were awaiting the rules for Fall.

- As of Monday, they are changing the exemptions. They are allowing any number of online classes, but with the caveat you have to have at least one in-person class.

- If you are already in the US you have to leave if your university is online-only. [This is the part that feels punitive and particularly onerous to me]

What is interesting to me is the framing of this. The new exemptions are still more flexible than the pre-existing student visa policy (which has been around through both Democratic and Republican administrations as far as I can tell). So on the one hand it's actually an improvement. On the other hand I think most of these universities were hoping the full exemption would continue as COVID is still very much a thing.


It is not an improvement, it's a punishment for universities being responsible. The outcome is worse for everyone involved, including anyone who lives near a college.

"At least one in-person class" doesn't make any sense. Either in-person classes are safe, and the rules can go back to pre-pandemic, or they aren't, and forcing students and professors to attend them is dangerous and cruel.

There is no legitimate justification for this. There's no slippery slope issue or anything, everybody accepts that these rules will go back to normal once it's safe to do so.


The perspective of ICE is that there's no legitimate justification for someone to be in the US if they're only taking online courses.


Well, I can give one. These students fully expected to attend in-person classes, paid for them in full, paid to get to America and get housing for that purpose, will attend in person again as soon as it is possible.

Why can't they go home for one semester?

1) It's expensive. Flight home, rent for a US apartment they no longer occupy, potential rent for a new apartment at home, flight back here next semester. Where is a student supposed to get $5000+ to deal with this?

2) They need good internet access (and a laptop) wherever they're going. Not guaranteed, and not something the university can easily provide.

3) Timezones. Many classes are synchronous and discussion-based. Not only do you need internet good enough to support video calls, but you need to be awake at the same time as 15 other people in however many timezones.

4) It might be illegal. What if you're from China or Iran and your school uses G Suite for Education? Or they use Zoom, which is banned in 6 countries. Participating in your classes would be illegal. Can the university switch their entire infrastructure to a new platform in a couple months to support a few students for one semester for arbitrary reasons?

5) It might be unsafe. Not all students have a safe and stable place to go.

6) It achieves nothing. Literally no benefit for anyone. If you expect these students to come back in a semester or two, there is no point.


I am not sure if many people are aware of this fact but even flying can be quite difficult right now: if for instance you need to go back to Argentina it can take literally months until you are able to successfully book a flight (and this it with some help of the local embassy), and they all depart from Miami so you also have to figure out how to get there first. After that, once you get to Buenos Aires, you have to quarantine for two weeks in a specially designated hotel room. A good friend of mine passed through all this and it was pretty stressful.


Also, it might not be actually possible -- or at least be quite risky for the student. Whenever you enter the US, border agents have almost unlimited authority as to whether you are allowed in, especially as a student. Speaking as someone who's spent years going through this process, every time you have to enter the states, even if all your paperwork is in order and there are zero rational reasons for you to be denied entry, you're still worried about it. Some border agents are friendly and let you through quickly, and some grill you like you're trying to forcefully invade their country. I had a friend (who was on a work visa, not even a student one) who taught English as a Second Language at a US high school, who was told by a border agent that she's lucky he's letting her through this time, because they shouldn't allow foreigners to teach English at American schools.

That's not to even mention that when you're on an F-1 student visa, you can legally renew it while remaining in the US even while the visa stamp in your passport has already expired. But once you leave the US, you have to have a valid visa stamp in your passport in order to reenter, even if you already have a valid F-1 visa document approved and signed by all the right people. This means that, in your home country, you'll need to make an appointment, spend hours lining up at the US embassy (if they're even open due to COVID), then go through the interview process (which you have to repeat every single time you renew your passport visa stamp) in order to get that stamp reissued.

Once, after already having spent years in the US on a student visa, I was actually turned back during that interview because the particular consular officer on duty that day decided that I needed to provide a detailed printed transcript of my American high school experience. I had to leave the interview, schedule a second appointment, and have the printed transcript ready at that time. All of this is to say that not only would requiring students to go through this process simply because their universities aren't offering physical classes during COVID will not only cause intense stress, but also will probably result in some students not making it back into the country for arbitrary reasons.


Yeah, its funny how people think they can understand the nuance of other people situation by just spending 45 minutes "digging" into it.

I see this same thing everywhere. From race issues to out of touch boomer tech managers and PM's.


You forgot one:

7) Lost rent to the landlord in the college town, and their ability to fill the apartment/room (doubtful).


Of course, there's many more.

- Lost reputation (if there's any left) among embassies that will have to work to repatriate these students for no reason.

- Lost business at supermarkets, bookstores, cafes, whatever else.

- Many students are probably just going to transfer to a college that's holding in-person classes rather than deal with this, putting them in danger and disrupting their education.

- Lost societal contributions from future college graduates who may no longer want to live and work in this country.

- Massive waste of government resources as ICE agents try to deport people to countries that aren't accepting flights from America.

- Waste of everyone's resources as the government and universities work through this inevitable court case.

- Loss of future international students who are now seeing an example of how arbitrary and capricious the US government can be that hits a little too close to home.

- Endangering the lives of faculty and students and neighborhoods of every college that is now forced to hold in-person classes because they can't afford to sue the United States government and don't expect this lawsuit to succeed.

- Waste of fossil fuels for completely pointless international flights.

- etc. etc. etc.


The justification is that it was already decided that, for whatever reason(s), there was a benefit to allow these students to study in the US. They were given a spot at a university that could have gone to someone else, and resources have been expended on getting them through the process toward graduation.

If we create obstacles or burdens that stand in the way of completing that education, it serves to jeopardize the returns on the investment we've made.

If it was in the US's best interests to let them start, it's in the US's best interests to give them best odds of finishing. Let them choose whether or not to return to their home country as best fits their individual situation.


The interest is purely in the benefit of universities charging full rate of most international students.


I think that just being in the same time zone as your school makes a pretty big difference.


Any remote worker at a 'distributed' company would heartily agree.


I would agree with that justification.


> "At least one in-person class" doesn't make any sense. Either in-person classes are safe, and the rules can go back to pre-pandemic, or they aren't, and forcing students and professors to attend them is dangerous and cruel.

This sounds ridiculously reductive, and too black and white.

"Either driving a car is safe, and you shouldn't need to apply safety rules, or they aren't, in which case driving a car is cruel".

There is no such thing as completely safe, only levels of risk, and how you mitigate risk. You can still catch a disease even if you wore a N95 mask, for example. There is a reason why essential groceries stores are open during the pandemic, while barbershops are closed. It's about how you manage the risk/reward balance. Starving is not an option, whereas not getting a haircut is.

Well, some classes clearly work better online than others. You can teach a webdev class online. Would you want someone who is learning to become a surgeon to learn purely online and without hands-on experience? Some other classes, like biology labs, chemistry labs, etc produce a lot more value in person.

This means that in order to manage risk, a university could implement a strategy where it reduces the number of in-person classes as much as possible, but still have some in-person classes (with added social distancing and other safety rules).

This doesnt mean international students should be forced to leave the country if they are not taking an in-person class, for example. But I don't think it means universities should be prevented from allowing in-person classes if they take precautions and understand the risk.


> This doesnt mean international students should be forced to leave the country if they are not taking an in-person class, for example. But I don't think it means universities should be prevented from allowing in-person classes if they take precautions and understand the risk.

?

Nobody is being prevented from holding in-person classes if they want to. And yes, international students being forced to leave the country is what we're talking about.

This rule has nothing to do with risk/reward balance or picking which classes benefit most from in-person interaction. The driving analogy would make sense if students were being forced to drive one hour a week without a seatbelt for no reason in order to remain in the country.


> Either in-person classes are safe, and the rules can go back to pre-pandemic, or they aren't, and forcing students and professors to attend them is dangerous and cruel.

Actually, in-person classes are completely safe and this is a gentle nudge from the federal administration to make the universities reconsider their (completely political) decision to not resume normal classes this Fall.


This is an awfully confident statement that is unsupported by available evidence on covid transmission and health risks. On what basis do you say that in person classes are completely safe when reopening of indoor spaces has led to massive upticks in infections across much of the US?


It is certainly confident, but it is also supported -- modulo "completely" -- by our understanding of how effective masks are supposed to be, and infection rates in certain other (mask-wearing) countries.


There's nothing I can say to this argument. Good luck out there, and please be kind to your neighbors who are still wearing masks and staying home.


Next time the government threatens to arrest you and throw you out of the country, let me know if you consider this "gentle".


> This is the part that feels punitive and particularly onerous to me

But that's the part that people are upset about. People aren't angry that there exists a policy to prevent students of fully online universities from getting visas.

People are upset that because it is completely reasonable for a traditional brick-and-mortar university to run classes 100% online this coming semester (e.g., Harvard) and that suddenly a bunch of students who are attending Harvard and have been doing so for years are forced to leave the country on a moment's notice.

What nuance is there? The original exception (you can take 100% online classes) was thoroughly reasonable given the pandemic and the new updated policy is completely unreasonable. It only harms people and benefits no one.


What you are also discounting for is that once the student exits the country, they are caught in the quagmire of securing a stamping to reenter. Given the stance the current administration has taken around virtually all consular appointments/stampings, these students might as well consider their chances of returning to the US to pursue their respective degrees to be close to zero.

Also my understanding is that the criteria for being allowed to stay doesn't differentiate on the level of the degree. For instance, Phd students who have completed their course work but are busy working on their thesis and building their publishing record are royally screwed. I expect a number of transfers of some of the best and brightest to research universities in Canada and Europe. I personally witnessed how much of a boon the mistreatment of Iranian students by the US govt. was to universities in Canada. They got some of the best and brightest who would have otherwise been gobbled up by top schools in the US.

I expect a massive and permanent exodus of foreign students to other countries with more pragmatic policies in place.


Hasn't the thesis "course" always been "in person"? I don't see how this change affects the PhD candidates in any way.

I also find it funny that you bring up Canada as Canadian schools openly discriminate against international students thanks to government policies.


If you are taking 100% online classes there is no reason to have or need the VISA. The exception being for things like COVID etc. Those should be exceptional circumstances.


This definitely doesn’t make sense to me. Time zones are going to be a huge issue. If a coworker told me they were going to work from an asian/european timezone, we could try to make it work, but it’s definitely a hassle. The story is no different for universities and their courses.


Please explain your plan for what happens the following semester, once in-person classes resume, and these students are stuck abroad until such time that they are able to renew their visa stamps (which is a notoriously expensive, long process that can result in denials for completely arbitrary reasons).


It seems like the framing is entirely fair.

Any reasonable administrative body would look at the circumstances involved in this and do the thing that would disrupt lives the least for the benefit of everyone involved.

"So on the one hand it's actually an improvement."

This seems kind of silly.


The universities knew this was a possibility. They want to charge full tuition (particularly to their international students who account for a disproportionate share of revenue) and go online-only with no consequences. I'm not sure that's entirely reasonable either.

From my experience, distance learning isn't really worth very much. This applies to K-12 as well as university. I think it's entirely reasonable to expect in-person classes in the Fall if you're paying full tuition. We expect our grocery store workers to show up and do their jobs during COVID, I think it's reasonable to expect the same of university faculty.


Ok, but what does that have to do with the immigration status of their students?


If everyone shows up like normal this conversation is moot. Isn't that obvious?


Legitimate students are being forced to leave the US because of remote classes.

Remote classes are not as good as in person classes.

These two things are unrelated.

If the students choose not to continue their education because the quality is degraded by remote learning, that is an entirely different matter.


Sure. Universities are megacorporations that aren't exactly doing it for charity. They charge an arm and a leg and online education sucks by comparison. I'd like to see universities slash their tuitions for the online system.

Literally none of that makes it okay to evict people from the country under this policy. This isn't about the Trump administration standing up for students against universities. This is about the Trump administration shitting on immigrants.


It's not typically attending the classes themselves that are the benefits of going to college. It's working with other students on homework, projects, etc., networking, socializing.


> These exemptions were for Spring and Summer and universities were awaiting the rules for Fall.

I went to the original ICE/SEVP documents and I didn't find any mention that the rules were for Spring and Summer, and not for Fall.

Here they are: March-9 document:

https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2003-01.pdf

March-13 document:

https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2...


The oddest thing about this whole topic, especially in light of the current social unrest in the USA is that people seem to totally miss the fact that Universities, American tech corporations, and the whole American economy is a cynical human resource extraction operation that syphon off the best and brightest to keep the American economy going, where it would have an immensely hard time running otherwise. I see that as the core motivation for the Harvard and MIT lawsuit, keeping the flow of that foreign talent drug flowing, not some kind of emotive narrative about injustice or unfairness.

The American economy and society is essentially a kind of massive Ponzi scheme or con job (short for trick of confidence), where the foreign "human resources" are required to keep the scheme from collapsing. The day that China, India, Europe, Russia, etc. realize that they are being extracted of some of their very most important and valuable resources, their best and brightest, and they cut the USA off; it will cause massive panic and pangs of terror among the US ruling class that needs to keep the flow of fresh supply of the foreign best and brightest to prevent their con job from being exposed.

There is all this talk of slavery and colonialism and resource extraction of the past that has sabotaged and disadvantaged countries and societies and communities. In reality though it never stopped, it only took on a different and largely more profitable form like how a con artist may shift and move around and dissolve and form new companies as needed while the con always remains more or less the same.

The same cynical exploitation and extraction of resources from one society to fuel and enrich another has always remained in place even if the branding, labeling, and narrative around it has changed over time. If people want to "tear down the system of exploitation and abuse" (or however it is characterized) all they would need to do is stop feeding the American economy with their best and brightest, let alone even their hard working manual labor like Central America is doing, who are not available to contribute to developing their own societies because they are busy serving the American corporations to "Make America Great Again".

In reality, the US economy is so riddled with massive holes and flaws that it is like a sieve that requires a constant and ever larger flow of the best and brightest and hardest working and most motivated and driven just to keep the con going. If that were to seize up, if foreign countries and leaders realized how they were sabotaging themselves and stopped fueling the US economy, the energy and economic activity of the USA would immediately start draining out at a dizzying rate.

I would love for someone to correct me if I am looking at this incorrectly.


Well for one that viewpoint not only treats countries like people and people like property, disregarding the will of the actors there are many problems with the argument.

1. Benefits and harms are not zero sum, that goes for "elites" and "common people" as well as countries. I thought the Coronavirus already demonstrated this quite well. The "common people" dying didn't benefit the elites nor the elites dying. 2. Even if we accept false premises of value it isn't a Ponzi Scheme. Even if it is an unsustainable demand for talent it wouldn't be a Ponzi Scheme. A Ponzi Scheme lies about generating benefits and instead just redostributes from new to old while escalating recruitment. For it to be a Ponzi Scheme no learning would be taking place, just idea extraction from immigrants and plagerism to attribute it to the professors. To put it mildly that is very counterfactual, akin to suggesting that crowds of thousands of people watching a musician perform is what creates talent and any rando you put up on stage would gain talent faster than if they practiced in an empty concert hall. 3. Just because they are educated abroad and the US benefits doesn't mean their native country is harmed or "harmed". They can and have enriched their native country either when they return or through remittances above what they earn domestically. 4. Source country interests may also be selfish. They may be glad to be rid of those pesky intellectuals with their "western" values of things like equal rights. 5. The entire reason many go abroad to study is because their native country is unable to use their full potential for whatever reason. That is like saying recruiting a subsidence farmer's genius son and training him to be a doctor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the farmer because the doctor now earns that in the city. At most the farmer lost $400/year from a farmhand's labor.

The entire intellectual frameworks involved are wrong on several levels really.


[flagged]


Going back to the restrictions in place before COVID, while COVID is still very much a thing, and we haven't even finished the first wave while a second wave rises, is bad. While Conservative administrations are good at finding ways to punish people through neglecting to act as opposed to having to actively take action, this isn't behavior that should be lauded.

The options here are either that the administration is risking lethal consequences for these students out of: 1) incompetence (they forgot to extend the exemptions), or 2) active negligence. Either is exceptionally bad. Whether it was an active decision or not to let these exceptions end, ICE seems almost gleeful to take the opportunity to kick these students out of the country, and ICE is entirely under the control of the executive branch.


If a category 5 hurricane destroyed a university, and then ICE deported international students because they were no longer attending classes in person, do you think that would be news? It's just existing policy, their hands are tied.

Or: why is it news that Trump refuses to wear a mask? Obama never wore one.


The difference is a lot of universities are remote only, due to being more concerned about safety. So it's simply not possible for the students to take in-person courses. This was not the case during Obama's years.


Oh brother, you Trump supporters have no empathy. How can you not see the hardship of kicking out international students who are already here? COVID forcing the closure of universities is not their fault. And what if the universities reopen again in a couple of months as Trump promises? What a waste to leave the country only to have to come back again. You defend Trump saying that the same rule applied during Obama's years but Trump can/does whatever he wants including tear down things setup during Obama. So you have no excuse. You tried kicking out DACA kids but failed. There is a pattern here.


I didn’t hear a lot of empathy in your argument.


You must have missed this:

> How can you not see the hardship of kicking out international students who are already here? COVID forcing the closure of universities is not their fault.


It's incredibly unfair for the the administration to target international students like this.

However Harvard and MIT aren't all about caring about their international students here. They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing. International students usually pay a much higher effective tuition rate. The higher the % of international students the school takes in the more money they take in. If these schools had to replace international students with domestic ones (even if they could) they wouldn't be able to get away with selecting only the highest paying students.

I'm from Boston, we have an incredibly high number of international students, and a lot of the interest in keeping them is about getting their money.

The Boston Globe estimates they are worth $3.6 billion dollars to the area... lots of money, lots of tuition, lots of apartment rentals, lots of bar & restaurant revenue.


> However Harvard and MIT aren't all about caring about their international students here. They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing.

It’s okay to have multiple motivations.

The fact that they have a monetary incentive doesn’t detract from the good of what they’re doing. In fact, that’s partially what enables these expensive lawsuits.

We shouldn’t try to downplay good actions just because money is also involved.


Thats exactly how big pharma is usually defended.

Access to elite society is controlled by these institutions so if they have money motive then they perpetuate rich-> rich cycle.


>Thats exactly how big pharma is usually defended.

And it is a legitimate defense. Big pharma, motivated by profit, has brought countless medicines to market and saved hundreds of millions of lives.

Non-profit pharma does not have the same track record.


Do you really live in a world where Big Pharam is a force for good?

I live in a world where many of my friends and even my father was killed in cold blood by that system in its blind pursuit of profit over health and honesty.

The number of people harmed by perscription drugs when there are less damaging, and often times natural and cheaply available and more effective, non-patented treatments is astronomical and ongoing.


I totally agree that there are cases where the most expensive on patent treatment may not be the best for a given patient. That said there are tons of diseases for which new drugs are incredibly beneficial (think treatment of hep c and blindness), and the the development of new drugs is a net good for society.

Patients and doctors can still choose natural remedies if they believe they are the most effective treatment for a given illness.


> tons of diseases for which new drugs are incredibly beneficial.

These new drugs also often come with harmful effects that are not discovered until many people are harmed or killed. Big Pharma often discovers the harmful effects long before the public does and, in their pursuit of profit, denies any harm, lies, and covers up. See Merck and vioxx.

There are also tons of research on effective non-patentable treatments that are ignored in Big Pharma's blind pursuit of profit.

These "new" drugs are pushed as the best known treatment, while ignoring entire bodies of research.

That is my largest beef with Big Pharma and Big Allopathic Medicine. They ignore much science. Yes, ignore.

Now with Sci-Hub we can, as individuals, begin to see how much is being ignored. I've taken stacks of research papers into doctors in order to educate them on peer-reviewed and well supported science that Big Pharma convienently ignores and damn well doesn't educate them about. In their defense, they do understand the language of science and they were willing to change treatments in response.


Can you share examples of research papers you've found valuable enough to challenge/sway the opinions of doctors?

I know big pharma cannot be trusted as they're in it to have customers for life, but I've never considered using research papers to change treatments.


Sure. I'm starting to work on a compilation. If you send me an email I can point you at it. I don't have them on me at the moment.

One time it was a 10 year old research paper detailing the simple fact that if you don't force a particular chemo drug into a person over the standard 30 minutes but instead do it over 2 hours you have a much reduced chance of permanent side-effects such as neuropathy. The doctors changed the treatment in response to the paper, and FWIW the person did not develop have any permanent side effects.

The fact that that paper exists and is 10 years old and had no change on the treatements of many people since then (many of which could have potentially avoided permanent damage) led me to further question the "scientific" nature of modern medicine.

Another rich vein of research is in the numerous research on the effects of certain medicinal mushrooms as an adjunct to cancer treatments, both radiation and chemo. In allmost all cases, the effects were very positive and replicable. Some of these papers are also over 10 years old.


There's nothing inherently good about something that's "natural". This sounds like the nonsense Steve Jobs was following before his death.


Yes of course natural things can be bad and unnatural things can be good. That is totally beside the point (and a total straw man).

We obviously live in a world where natural remedies can't be commercialized the way Pharma drugs can. This creates incredible incentives to push dangerous medicines on people and the expense of everything else. America is the most drugged society in the world - and it also is one of the most unhealthiest. That is not an accident.


You're still conflating the two like they have anything to do with each other. The unhealthiest part has a lot more to do with our food consumption habits and our built environment, while the amount of drugs leads from that. And this isn't even getting into the issues with opioids which started with a combo of Purdue being trash along with the general macroeconomic conditions in the Appalachian Mountains.


Doctors are at least partially to blame for poor prescription practice; they have a much stricter duty to their patients. Doctors are also pursuing profits (as evidenced by their high incomes); they just don't aggregate the wealth into a single entity which can be targeted by class-action lawyers.


> And it is a legitimate defense. Big pharma, motivated by profit, has brought countless medicines to market and saved hundreds of millions of lives.

Big pharma also benefits substantially from taxpayer funded research, which often gets omitted.

> Non-profit pharma

It's hard to see how such a thing would not get sued out of existence by Big Pharma, however generic drugs do indeed have a long history of saving lives.


>Big pharma also benefits substantially from taxpayer funded research, which often gets omitted.

Big pharma receives some marginal benefit from taxpayer funded research, but it isn't as big as most think, and is given by the taxpayer with no strings attached. See my response here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23773601

>It's hard to see how such a thing would not get sued out of existence by Big Pharma,

Im not sure what big pharma would be suing for. Non-profits have a number of problems, but this isn't one that I am aware of. Here is a whitepaper describing some of the challenges. the Whitepaper was funded by a VC firm which actively invests in non-profit pharma.

>however generic drugs do indeed have a long history of saving lives.

Most generics started as brand name drugs which were developed by big pharma with a profit motive. Once off patent, other big pharma companies manufacture the generic with a profit motive.


There's a ton more funding you disregard, there's subsidies i.e. tax breaks, you can't simply look at direct research funding and at the federal level at that, what about state funding? Private funding not tied to big pharma?

This is like when academic publishers defend themselves by saying how much value they add. The fact is the U.S. could easily cover all Big Pharma R&D spending and then some if it wanted to, just the military spending increase this year was in the tens of billions of dollars. What if that went to this instead?

The problem is not the money, the problems is the incentives of the U.S. healthcare system are completely messed up. How else would you explain getting charged thousands of dollars for an ambulance ride?

I am not against Big Pharma making a profit, I am against them jacking the price of drugs by 700% because the new owners saw a cashcow opportunity. That's someone's life right there. I am not for them lobbying against single payer either.

Just look at the recent Remdesivir pricing fiasco. Why can't Medicaid negotiate drug prices for example?


I think we probably agree on more than we disagree on.

I was objecting specifically to the claims that pharma substantially benefits from taxpayer funded research and would sue non-profits out of existence.

I totally agree that the incentives are the problem! The best step forward would be to federally negotiate prices based on relative benefit. Next we could look at outcome based compensation. I think these changes would address 90% of the problem.


There are also universities and other groups. Corporate money only accounts for less than 30% of research funding.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/data-check-us-govern...


I think that is a misrepresentation of the facts.

Federal funding accounts for <50% of Basic research funding. basic research funding accounts for 1/6 of R&D spending. So federal funding is <8% of overall R&D spend.

From the article you linked:

>Basic research comprises only about one-sixth of the country’s spending on all types of R&D, which totaled $499 billion in 2015. Applied makes up another one-sixth, whereas the majority, some $316 billion, is development. Almost all of that is funded by industry and done inhouse, as companies try to convert basic research into new drugs, products, and technologies that they hope will generate profits.


Wow, does non-profit pharma even exist? That's a combination I never considered before.


I'm do not know if it does in the US. However, some countries have/had state-owned pharmaceutical companies that produce cheap generics.


> state-owned

i don't think thats what people think when they say "non profit".

non profits are usually privately held.


You are absolutely correct. However, state-owned pharma is not motivated by profit, despite not being a "non-profit" (this specificity was introduced by parent comment).


sure. My comment's assumption was that,

A. people defending harvard's money motive here

B. people defending harvard's money motive elsewhere

don't have a big intersection


That is an interesting take. I would assume that almost everyone in group B would also be in group A.

Group A would also have situational supporters outside B


They can be motivated by profit, as all businesses are. The problem is they aren't regulated by any means - for example, the amount of "ask your Doctor is blahblah is right for you" kind of ads need to stop. It's not the patient who needs to ask the doctor which medicine is right for him, it's the doctor who needs to act in the patients' best interest to provide the right medicine. Not to mention the kickbacks doctors get for prescribing certain drugs.


> We shouldn’t try to downplay good actions just because money is also involved.

I disagree. When there are thousands upon thousands of innocent people in privately-run ICE detention centres, whose economic value is solely based on their being locked up, it doesn't go nearly far enough to say that THESE immigrants are worth fighting for because their economic value is based on their relative wealth.

So you consider it downplaying, I consider it attempted betterment.


One can do some good (even for selfish reasons) and it can be commendable. One isn’t obliged to solve the entire problem.

https://blog.jaibot.com/the-copenhagen-interpretation-of-eth...


Yea but they are also afraid of loosing out on a generation of professors, post docs, academics, value generators, “job creators”.

It is very risky to cut out a generation of top students because the value is not just to the local Boston economy, but nationally. It’s not just cheap labor. It’s apprenticeship by the smartest in the world who will pay dividends for not only our lives but for generations.

I came as a student. I pay 6 figures in taxes. Some of my intl friends pay 7 figures and employ hundreds. I’ll have kids here that will generate enough value to do that as well.

Right now, there is a significant risk that a lot of economic value is going to be lost due to these immigration policies. That is not good for america.

It’s like a sports team: you have the ability to draft the top players from around the world for cheap. Why would you decide to boycott the draft itself and let the competitors (India, China) take those players? Especially some players that you have already trained (graduated students, post docs)


>It’s like a sports team: you have the ability to draft the top players from around the world for cheap. Why would you decide to boycott the draft itself and let the competitors (India, China) take those players? Especially some players that you have already trained (graduated students, post docs)

You're thinking about it from the wrong perspective. The people who are anti-immigration are anti-immigration because they personally might be negatively impacted (in terms of losing jobs or getting lower wages), even if it means the country as a whole is better off. Seeing the US GDP grow 30% faster is little consolation to you when you've lost your job to immigrants (or at least, you thought that you did). Going back to the sports team analogy, it'd be great if your team drafted the best international players and won, but what if that resulted in you getting kicked off the team, or sidelined most of the season?


If that’s the case, then why not have teams draft from the region they represent? For example, maybe the Patriots should not have had a foreign Michigander as their QB for 20 years, that spot could have been given to some up and coming Boston College graduate.

To address your point a bit more directly: can you show me studies where native born Americans have lost jobs to immigrants in the US? I know that many jobs got moved to China and Mexico, but that’s not what I am wondering about.


> If that’s the case, then why not have teams draft from the region they represent? For example, maybe the Patriots should not have had a foreign Michigander as their QB for 20 years, that spot could have been given to some up and coming Boston College graduate.

In the sports analogy, I'm describing it from the point of a player, not a fan. A fan's role in this is closer to shareholder rather than employee. They primarily care about winning (presumably). Ultimately the team is beholden to their fans, not to their players.

>To address your point a bit more directly: can you show me studies where native born Americans have lost jobs to immigrants in the US? I know that many jobs got moved to China and Mexico, but that’s not what I am wondering about.

That's not my personal position, by the way, so I'm not going to bother looking up statistics for it. I'm only describing what anti-immigration's perceptions are. It's safe to say that there's a widely held belief (among immigration opponents, at least) that immigrants "steal" jobs from natives. eg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa#Criticisms_of_the_pr...


It's not just lost jobs. It's also depressed wages.


Immigrants are overrepresented when it comes to founding companies. They are better at creating jobs compared to their non-immigrant counterparts.


> The people who are anti-immigration are anti-immigration because they personally might be negatively impacted

That's generally untrue, though it is what people think. For one thing, the same flexibility that lets MIT pull from around the world lets a student in Boston apply around the world instead of being stuck with whatever Boston has to offer.


The Universities, industry, and government colluded against the American public in order to increase profits for the 1%. There is a write-up about it here:

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/how-why-gove...


That's one opinion, yes. Not a widely-held one.


The whole Democratic/progressive platform is based on the idea that government and industry are working together to funnel money to the wealthy.

Did you care to address the paper attached to the article I linked to?


Realistically the actual competitors of America here are Canada, the UK and Europe more generally.

I suspect that a lot of this immigration is both the desire for high-paying jobs and to live in a (slightly) more stable country.


There is a growing number of Chinese students who graduate from top Chinese universities or return to work in China after their US education. The US may hold a dominant position right now, but that lead is fading and the unwelcoming attitude towards immigrants is driving the best and brightest back home. This is especially true in engineering (vs academia where US still has a huge advantage), where there has been an explosion in Chinese tech companies who pay salaries competent to US tech companies when adjusting for CoL. It’s therefore not surprising that in the last decade we saw many rising Chinese companies like TikTok, Xiaomi, Tencent make waves even in American markets. In the next decade, if the US fails to capture the brightest minds of the world, we could see China start to become a viable alternative to the US, especially for tech workers.


Yeah... I don't see how anyone would strive to go to China considering everything that's been happening and how racist they are to African immigrant workers over there. If you think the US government is acting xenophobic, China is on a whole different level.

Video of an Africans being evicted from chinese apartment due to racism https://youtu.be/KQaNdTKQyLY?t=310

https://youtu.be/V3jHADADWc0?t=39

Racist incidents against Africans in China amid coronavirus crackdown spark outcry https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-racism-africans-chi...

Africans told to leave homes as Chinese regime blames foreigners for bringing CCP virus to China https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvN4WHBhnoo


That is true whataboutism. Parent talked about Chinese students going back to China. No idea how Chinese discrimination against people of colour applies here.


I can't imagine it being viable for most Western tech workers given the climate of human rights and politics. I am a tech worker, I even have a particular interest in China and know a little Mandarin but I would never live or work there long term given what I know.


It really doesn’t need western tech workers that much in huge troves. Look at people Alibaba has poached for top AI positions.

Also, are you aware of 1000 Talents plan?

I suppose you are also aware of Tsinghua and other 8 schools that are super strong? Especially two of them in AI.


I completely agree that the borders should be open and bringing bright people from the all over the world to the US is fantastic. I am also opposed to the recent ruling. I am thankful that you are here. However, I do think the term "generation" is unnecessarily hyperbolic. We are talking about a year (or two), not a generation.


We are of a like mind.

To answer the "why" folks may think this, you and I are considering the general equilibrium impact of the policy, but the vast majority of folks think in terms of partial equilibrium/first order. And on a first order, the "jobs" that folks holding these student visas will be vacated and thus "available" for domestic students. Such nativist views typically fail to grasp that said jobs may simply not be available due to companies sending work to the talent, not just to the trained.

Myopia is a terrible thing to live in denial with, but unfortunately such as things are.


> However Harvard and MIT aren't all about caring about their international students here. They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing. International students usually pay a much higher effective tuition rate

As an international MIT alumni, I can confidently say that this is completely wrong. MIT and Harvard have need-based scholarships, meaning that students pay tuition depending on their financial circumstances. Most of the international students come from poorer countries & families compared to an average domestic student and therefore end up paying a lot less in tuition.

Also, MIT's international undergraduate students are usually around 10% of the whole class. Even if you were right, they don't represent a big enough chunk of the whole class to have a significant impact on the money they're making.


The vast majority of international MIT students are graduate students. Except for business students (i.e. MBA, executive MBA and similar), graduate students in research programs do not pay a dime to MIT. Their tuition + stipend for living expenses is paid by research or TA fellowships. I.e. they either work as either research or teaching assistants to receive this money. MIT receives part of the fellowship money as an "overhead" tax, but this is exactly what happens for domestic graduate students. Notably, in the case of MIT these fellowships are provided to both M.S. and PhD students. I believe that Stanford M.S. students do not get such fellowships and hence need to pay for their tuition.

Source: got my PhD at MIT as an international F1 student.


That’s just direct economic analysis. Graduate students are incredibly valuable to the universities because they generate research which can be used to either directly apply for grants and federal/commercial awards, or which can be used to just add to the university’s reputation (which, in turn, affects their chances of getting a grant or money award, as they have a reputation of expertise). Even if the direct money being paid by these students is zero, I’m sure all universities (not just MIT and Harvard) care deeply about where their graduate students go; that’s a lot of good grey matter going to waste, and universities are in the business of converting grey matter directly into money!


>However Harvard and MIT aren't all about caring about their international students here. They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing.

Harvard has a ~$40bn endowment. Even if all 6,500 of its international students are affected, and all of them are paying $50,000 in tuition, and absolutely none of them are replaced, and no economies at all are generated by them not attending, then the university stands to lose slightly less than 1% of that endowment this year.

My point here is that Harvard can amply afford not to raise this issue, and that I rather suspect the issue of principle is more important than you suggest.


They are also help making the case for other Universities that don't have the name reputation that MIT and Harvard do. It is a responsibility that comes with their place in society.


Yes but this is less about economy and more about Trump forcing Harvard to open in fall, which they don’t want to. It’s not about principle, it’s about the unions who don’t want to open.


It isn't about unions. It is about humans.

A lot of people rightly believe that in person teaching is unsafe. My wife is a professor and chose to teach online for safety concerns. No evil union here. Just reasonable humans trying to do their best in a hard situation and a blowhard at the top trampling over their careful planning for his own satisfaction.


Fauci disagrees and said it’s safe to be school.

Also, just like your wife is thinking for herself, ICE is thinking for itself and wants to do a good job protecting people. No evil intention, just reasonable humans trying to do their best in hard situation.

P.S : I am a former international student, and professors couldn’t care any less about international students. These ICE rules have been in place for years, and no one fought to change them until it’s actually start hit their funding.


Is there actually much evidence of academic unionization at private colleges? I have a family member who's a professor at an Ivy League school and that concern has never even really come up.


They are geo located with other institutions where the unions are prominent, and Trump is hitting them where it hurts the most, the local economy.

In all this process, International students, who can’t vote are treated badly but this has always been the case, with Obama as well. Immigrants who can’t vote are the easiest barter trade.


> International students usually pay a much higher effective tuition rate.

That might be true for other universities but not for Harvard and MIT, whose admissions are aid-blind and most international students there receive huge financial aid packages.

There are lower-ranked universities that have programs (usually Masters's ones) that are targeted towards foreign students who can pay a lot of money.


According to QS only Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Amherst do need blind admissions for international students (surprised to not see Stanford on that list). So while in this instance I do not think it is driven by any direct financial motivation, the majority of even "top" US schools do appear to select international students in part on their ability to pay.


Yes, most "top" schools do not have Harvard's endowment, so they have to work with a limited budget. Still, their motivation is quite different from GP's suggestion that they are admitting international students to boost they finances. Anyway, we were talking about Harvard and MIT. I'll add one more thing, some universities do care about the well being of their students.


Plenty of schools have a higher endowment than Amherst. Stanford has a notably bigger endowment than MIT.

In any case, I was not agreeing with GP, I just think "lower ranked schools" is a bit of a strong statement as that does not conjure images of e.g. Columbia for me, even if it is technically a couple spots lower

I do agree the "universities don't give a shit about their students" sentiment is over the top these days though.


MIT's admission is need-blind (which is good), but many aid programs have some requirement attached that is hard to qualify for as a foreigner. I don't know of many foreign student in my class that had financial aid packages, let alone huge ones, so I would be interested if you have information to back up this claim.


At Harvard and MIT "need-blind" means that all admitted students receive a financial aid package, adjusted for the student's financial means, to make it work somehow. It's a combination of grants, loans, and presumed income from on-campus part-time jobs. At some other places "need-blind" may simply mean that admissions are granted regardless of financial needs, but financial aid is not guaranteed. Yes, federal grant and loan programs are not available to international students, but the universities have other resources (endowments, private loans, etc.)

As for sources... I am a former international student at a top US university and I know many others too. Almost no one I've met came from a rich foreign family.


> The higher the % of international students the school takes in the more money they take in.

I thought that private institutions like MIT and Harvard charge the same rates for international and domestic students? For example, MIT's page on cost of attendance only lists one tuition rate[1].

It would be public institutions like the University of California that would stand to lose the most revenue percentage-wise from this policy, right?

edit: see replies below that elaborate on finaid for internationals

[1] https://sfs.mit.edu/undergraduate-students/the-cost-of-atten...


A significant part of the student body doesn't pay the list price for tuition, due to the large amount of various forms of tuition assistance.

I'd expect there's a difference in financial assistance between international and domestic students.

Edit: As pointed out by a response, MIT and Harvard both state that their financial aid is independent of international vs US students.


That’s not accurate for MIT or Harvard, their is no difference for many of their programs between the financial assistance given to domestic and international students.

I was an undergrad at Harvard on an F-1 visa, the financial aid package was blind to residency status. This is unusual - many private schools do discriminate - but not unheard of. Later I looked at grad opportunities at MIT primarily because - unlike many others grad schools - they did fund international students to the same level as domestic.


I took a look, and MIT and Harvard specifically state that their financial aid is independent of domestic vs international status. Thanks for pointing that out!

"However, whether you are a domestic applicant or an international applicant does not impact when or how you apply or the financial aid you are offered. Rather, this page is simply intended to be a helpful resource for people who are less familiar with the American educational system and are trying to figure out how to apply to MIT."

https://mitadmissions.org/apply/firstyear/international/

"Our financial aid policies are the same for all applicants, regardless of nationality or citizenship. All aid is based on financial need, and admissions decisions are made without regard to whether an applicant has applied for financial assistance. Harvard meets each student’s demonstrated need."

https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/international-a...


Good point, I had forgotten about finaid provided "internally" by the university.


Both international and domestic students at these institutions get amazing financial aid.


But at most of these schools (<10 in the US are exceptions) ability to pay can still affect who they choose to admit in the first place internationally. Whereas >100 schools practice need blind admissions for domestic students. That said Harvard/MIT should be no different between the two.


That’s not true at wealthy schools. I went to Reed (not need blind) and only half the student body there pay full price. That portion should be lower at Harvard and MIT.


Domestic students get a lot of financial aid/merit scholarships/etc. not available to international students.


As mentioned in sibling comments this is false.


Domestic students get a lot of financial aid of their parents don’t make a lot. There is no such aid for internationals.

EDIT: Apparently that not really true.


> There is no such aid for internationals.

That's not completely accurate. Both Harvard and MIT claim parity in financial aid for international and domestic students. However, there is a bit of a discrepancy in the way that income is evaluated, higher taxes abroad leading to less post-tax money even for equivalent incomes, as well as non-institutional funding that domestic students are eligible for, but foreign students are not. The overall effect is more of a shift in the distribution of incomes between international and domestic students (i.e. if you're international you will be paying more at the same parental income level), but there is still a level where attendance is basically free.


Is admission for internationals in general need blind as well at MIT/Harvard ? What about income level of people attending ?


> Is admission for internationals in general need blind as well at MIT/Harvard ?

I think that's true now. I don't remember if it was true 10 years ago when I went through this process, because I do remember submitting financial forms together with the application.

> What about income level of people attending ?

The statistics get published, but I don't think they generally get split out between international and non-international students. Anecdotally, it strongly depends on the country the person comes from. Some smaller countries gear their educational programs towards sending their top students to the top universities abroad and have appropriate recruitment programs in their public schools. For those countries the parental income distribution can be quite varied (not counting of course the taxpayer money spent to say send them around the world to international academic competitions and conferences). I think for countries that don't have such programs (usually because they have excellent domestic programs), you tend to see students come from wealthier backgrounds (that is middle class and up - I don't mean to imply that you need to be filthy rich to get in, just that participating in those activities that look good on US college applications requires a certain amount of money and parental support that needs to be supported from somewhere). That's just my sense though, I don't have any hard data.


I see. My understanding at my own institution (a big one on the west coast) is that international (undergraduate) student admission is not need blind, or wasn't until very recently, since I remember "protests" about this particular topic in the last years. Graduate admissions has never even pretended to be need blind so that doesn't apply.


A small typo in your first sentence: I assume you meant "completely inaccurate".


Oops. Fixed.


This is wrong. International students, especially from locations with good high schools but low standard of living (e.g. Eastern Europe) frequently pay next to nothing at these elite institutions.


Is there aggregate data (over the country ?) on this ? I was pretty convinced there was a significant difference between the two, and I still believe that’s the case at my own institution, but could be wrong.


Beyond the economic value of international students, Harvard and MIT are completely dependent on these sources of cheap, intelligent labor. There isn't enough domestic supply of top students to keep top labs running and publishing state of the art research.


> There isn't enough domestic supply of top students to keep top labs running and publishing state of the art research.

This is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Foreign grad students submit to modern academic slave labor, because the long term incentive is American citizenship. Also many don't have student loan debt from their undergrad degree in their home countries, so they can agree to work for low salary.

Americans have no incentive to work hard in poorly paid grad student positions. And they need to start paying their undergrad student loan debt, so they have incentive to find a high-paid job instead of graduate studies. This especially applies to Americans who don't come from a wealthy family background, so often to American minorities.


> There isn't enough domestic supply of top students to keep top labs running and publishing state of the art research.

Making native born people compete vs foreigners willing to work very hard for pennies just to get into the usa will make sure this is always true.


false argument. Highly educated immigrants leave even better educated kids in second generation. Not even mentioning all the companies, jobs, and research they create that benefit the whole country. Look up team USA roster in international olympiads on any STEM subject, or IOI/ACM-ICPC for example


> There isn't enough domestic supply of top students to keep top labs running and publishing state of the art research.

I have a hard time believing that when Harvard rejects 19 out of every 20 applicants.


I'm talking about graduate programs at world-class research universities.


I think they are talking about graduate students (the ones actually doing research work) not undergraduates.


How do you call a situation where the morally correct course of action is aligned with one's own interest?

"Fantastic"


"convenient"


Sounds like incentives are aligned: foreign students get a good education and exposure to the U.S. (hopefully building goodwill). Local community benefits from exposure to foreign students (hopefully building good will). Local community gets foreign money. Only the students' home countries are potentially losing out, but even that depends on whether the student ends up sending money back home or returns home to contribute to their own local economy.

This was an incredibly dumb decision by ICE.


> They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing.

This is also a solid reason why they have standing to sue in the first place, so it's actually a good thing.


Yup, you can see this from the non-action when ICE was abducting undocumented immigrants


The thing about American universities, is that this transactional treatment of international students is well understood by the students themselves.

However, it is also well known, that these same universities are insane career fast tracks for them in the US, their home country and elsewhere. There was a reliability to reputed US universities. Pay us all of your family assets + more, but you will make it back soon with a high level of confidence.(esp. in STEM)

Similarly, we understand that the tedious immigration system of US does a great job of capturing the best international students in golden handcuffs, where they get to tax you like a resident, without providing any of the amenities or rights a resident has. But, life in the US is much better than that in an underdeveloped country, and even the circus hoops we have to jump through aren't sufficient discouragement to choose one over the other. As long as life is less shit than my home nation, I can deal with some abuse. As Hasan Minhaj puts it, it's the "immigrant tax".

We have no delusions of being treated equally to American citizens/residents.

If you can pick a certain amount of cotton, then you are a free man. (/s...but only kinda)

Where this rubs international students the wrong way, is just like the slave analogy, there is no formal agreement and the slave owner is free do what he likes, since ofc, like America he owns the slave. But, most communication happens is not verbal. There was a long understood, quiet honor system. Trump is violating that.

Many of these student's parents have sold off last of their clothes to send their children to the US. Many of these PhD students have been worked down to their bones on minimum wage, just for an American doctorate. Don't change the deal now. Not when these people have already (metaphorically) signed the deal.

I completely support the choice of any American to want stringent borders. That's your prerogative. No one complains about Japan not opening up their doors to the world. Parents won't bankrupt themselves filling the coffers of American colleges and co-located businesses. Students won't destroy their health doing RA/TA jobs that pay far under what they deserve.

There is an unspoken deal an international student signs when they commit $100k+ to the a US institute. In some sense, it is codified in the OPT system. Here, have 3 years to make back some of the money and fuck off. America, please reject these people at the door. Don't take their money, sweat & blood and then kick them out. That's just cruel.

We go out of our way to pick more cotton than the other slaves. Free us, or never make that promise in the 1st place. It was not illegal in 18th century US, but it sure as hell was dick move.


This link was posted here yesterday:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/233880/international-stu...

370.000 students from China, 200.000 from India, 52.000 from South Korea.

This policy change affects hundreds of thousands students and must generate a massive loss in economic terms.


>This policy change affects hundreds of thousands students and must generate a massive loss in economic terms.

It certainly does. But it's worth keeping in mind that you only have to drive about an hour north or west of either campus for "MIT/Hardvard, Boston area landlords and businesses lose out on billions of dollars from foreign students" to flip from bad news to good news.

Look at the politics of this and where ICEs actions stand on the spectrum of immigration, foreign relations and COVID (and probably a couple other issues that I'm not thinking of) and it all makes sense.

The administration will win brownie points among those people who already support it with this policy from the get go. This policy also pits the landlords and business owners in the college towns (who have a big interest in the school's opening, but don't have any love for the administration) against the colleges.


>Look at the politics of this and where ICEs actions stand on the spectrum of immigration, foreign relations and COVID (and probably a couple other issues that I'm not thinking of) and it all makes sense.

The COVID angle seems to me to be a total fig-leaf for other aims, seeing as the administration didn't do much for public health wrt covid - no strictly enforced lockdowns, no leadership on calling out states opening up too early, and not showing the president wearing a face covering. Also lets be real, the average international student is far less likely to transmit the virus than your average face-covering conspiracy-theorist American. (Especially those from China or SK - places where there are already cultural norms formed around limiting spread of infectious diseases)

Let's call a spade a spade. This is an attempt to enforce extralegal policy limiting immigration to the US via reducing the number of people on student visas.


The administration's policy on COVID is that it wants everything open and open yesterday, virus be damned. This new ICE policy that punishes universities for not doing so and tailors the punishment to mostly exempt the areas that vote for him. The schools attracting foreigners tend to be in left leaning college towns or in left leaning cities. The smaller state universities and community colleges that are in redder voting areas aren't nearly as dependent on foreign labor because they don't have as big grad student programs.

You're right about where this falls on immigration.


That'd be some interesting data to show backing up your claims this affects only the more left leaning campuses.


FWIW, Stephen Miller, an immigration advisor, has, in the past suggested limiting issuing student visas to "hurt universities whose faculty and students had been critical of Trump" [0]. With this in mind, this motivation becomes more clear and this wouldn't be the first policy from this administration that does collateral damage to their base.

0 - https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/409436-trump-con...


It's like the tax policy change a few years ago to reduce the mortgage interest deduction. This had a much bigger effect on expensive cities and suburbs which are more in Democratic-voting states (CA, NY, CT, NJ, MA, WA, MD, etc). The Republican party lost a few Representatives in those states but it was worth it to them to get the tax bill passed and stick it to the libs.


Look at any county by county map showing who voted for who in a presidential election in the last 20yr. The cities lean left. Where are the universities with graduate programs big enough to attract substantial foreign interest located? Mostly cities. So who gets hurt by this policy the most? Places (and people) who lean left.


This is ignoring the many state schools in those states which attract tens of thousands of international students each year


True, it's a messy policy (like any other broad brush federal policy) and he's throwing a lot of his own supporters under the bus.


Looking at the map of results from the 2016 election in Indiana (where I went to college), the state was solidly pro-Trump but you can easily spot the blue counties where IU Bloomington (Monroe) and Notre Dame (St Joseph) are located. The only other counties where Hillary won are Marion (Indianapolis) and Lake (basically a suburb of Chicago). Tippecanoe county (Purdue Univ) is pink and went for Trump with 49%.

This indicates that even in a "red state", the university towns with lots of international students are already voting left and hurting them with this policy probably wouldn't affect the outcome of the next election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidentia...


> This is an attempt to enforce extralegal policy limiting immigration to the US via reducing the number of people on student visas.

I suspect this a "heads I win/tails you lose" situation. If schools don't reopen to in-person classes, thousands of foreign kids get kicked out. If schools do open, then hey, the COVID thing can't be that bad since things are back to normal


Obviously landlords and businesses will lose out because of the decision to go fully online. They might anyway, since there wouldn't be any requirement I'm aware of that the student visa holders would have to stay near a school they were merely logging into. They could spend their semesters anywhere in the country in theory.

But surely even if the foreign students are forced to leave the US they'll stay enrolled in (and paying for) the classes. Isn't the education the point?


> But surely even if the foreign students are forced to leave the US they'll stay enrolled in (and paying for) the classes. Isn't the education the point?

Given that returning to, say, Beijing would mean your 3 PM Friday class at Harvard happens at 3:00 am Saturday, local (this isn't Coursera – most of these classes will be conducted online with real-time instruction, as they were for the remainder of last semester), I'd expect a lot of students would seek to transfer elsewhere.


Can you elaborate more?


This measure restricts immigration, a declared goal of Trumps sdministration. And it basically tries to force Universities to open for the fall semester. Again something the administration wants.

It only works, so, if t holds up in court. There, Trumps administration doesn't have the best track record.


Not that.

I mean, the commenter argued that this whole thing is better for the business even nearby the campus. How could that be? As far as I can see, this actually destroys the business nearby the campus.


No, they noted that the news of Boston area landlords and businesses losing billions due to these restrictions will probably be met with general applause less than an hour or two outside the city, thus bad news becomes good news, the urban / rural-ish divide.

Immigration restrictions in general would probably be applauded, but immigration restrictions that only directly affect colleges and cities? Slam dunk for Trump among his base.


Ah, that. Agree, less students means less business. Assuming foreign students permanently live near campus, it would even hurt more during Covid-related closures.

EDIT: I read OP that this policy ams to force campuses to open for fall. That would mean more students on site. Even without international ones, that is more than now.



There have been very few Trump signs here in Hampden county, an hour and a half west and one of the most Republican areas of the state. Mask compliance is nearly universal as well. New Hampshire is its own thing, of course.


The institutions are there primarily to educate our workforce. There are thousands of locally deserving students who don’t have opportunity, either went to wrong schools or don’t know how to navigate the system that’s geared toward connections or wealth.

These institutions could fill their student bodies with thousands upon thousands of our own students who get overlooked.

On the other hand they’ve grown used to foreign money filling their coffers.


The institutions are not primary there to educate our workforce; they exist to fill a variety of roles including policy development roles, collaborative research roles, and basic research roles that are essential to our nation's economic development. Please explain to me how we are going to fill legions of academic research roles normally held by foreign students and foreign graduates when no one can get a visa or after we boot foreigners out of the country as students and they no longer want to return. You honestly think undereducated Americans are going to rise up and fill those roles? Oh and guess where the well trained and intelligent foreigners who we kick out are going to bring their skills to: our competitors. Over 90% of my lab was foreigners and huge numbers of research lab positions are filled by foreigners. The policy is basically a self inflicted gunshot wound administered purely to get Trump reelected with absolutely no regard for the impact on the country long term.


By better educating our own kids. We have tons of kids in “inner cities” and “rural areas” who are underserved. We could do better for them. We’re to damned lazy to give a shit so we trade them for overseas shinies with money.


This is reductionist. The academic jobs OminousWeapons is talking about are not likely to be filled by domestic workers because they're severely underpaid.

NIH annual stipends are ~$25k for graduate students and $52-65k for postdocs [1]. There is a massive opportunity cost associated with these positions, _particularly_ for people coming from less affluent backgrounds. It's really hard to accept a 50-70% pay cut (assuming you could otherwise take a tech role) if you have an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to your and your family's financial stability.

[1] https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-0...


Markets work. Cutting off the vast supply of minimum wage international workers will incentivize Universities to treat and pay their junior researchers better.


As the parent insinuated, stipends are set by the NIH and congress, not the university. They are largely paid out with grant funding from the government. If an entity wanted to pay a researcher more, it can't come from federal funds which is how most labs (outside of big ones that have industry collaboration) primarily fund themselves. So while markets work, this isn't a competitive market, it is a regulated one where a ceiling is being set.

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/grants-contracts/salary-cap-stipen...


Improving education for underserved populations does not necessitate removing competition from PhD programs and post docs, or really even from colleges. Many of the people you are talking about don't even finish high school. It would take at least a decade of concerted effort to improve education in underserved communities to the point where denizens could legitimately be successful in advanced degree programs en masse. Also notice that this announcement did not come on the heels of any such announcement of an investment in education, and that none has been planned. I would be completely behind any effort to fix education here and I agree with you that one is needed, but this policy doesn't address the problem of poor education in underserved communities, it simply creates a new brain drain problem.


Foreign students and better educated domestic students aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, things work better when we have both. Even in the small and non-elite college I went to, there were foreign-born professors. My one math professor came from China and was very willing to run special courses for the senior undergrad math majors. So a foreign student came here for his doctorate, graduated, and went on to educate Americans. Win win.


I got into an Ivy on merit. White male, not legacy, not an athlete, not rich. Just good grades, good SAT score, and luck. I promise you the _vast_ majority of students I met who didn’t deserve to be at my school (academically speaking) were domestic legacies or athletes.

Can’t imagine my undergrad, first job out, or grad school without the many international students I made friends and worked with. Part of educating a successful workforce is teaching us how to work and collaborate with people from other backgrounds. Hard to do that if everyone’s from Newton or Westchester


I agree. We have tons of kids in the San Joaquin Valley , Montana plains, Eastern Washington, inner LA, etc who should have a chance... but they don’t bring the same money.


It's complicated. The kids whose parents pay for full tuition (or for a new building) subsidize the cost of attendance for the rest of us. I definitely couldn't have afforded to go without my financial aid package.

And that's supposedly part of the value proposition of elite schools - mix wealthy and connected students with bright students with ideas.

There's plenty of international students on financial aid too, I think it's doing them a disservice to say they're only being admitted for the revenue. Maybe at larger public institutions with tens of thousands of students, but I don't think that's generally the case at the smaller elite schools we're talking about


The admission lawsuit against Harvard revealed that they do have quotas for U.S. states to ensure that every state is represented in each admitted class. The university even lowers SAT/ACT and GPA requirements to ensure students from these less populous (Montana, Iowa, Dakotas,Idaho etc) and sometimes lower quality school systems (Mississippi) can get into the school and have a chance against applicants from California, Texas, New York etc.


Well, except aren't foreign students essentially subsidizing local students? Since they receive substantially less financial aid and often pay the full price of tuition. [1]

So when all of that money goes away, tuition rises and local students get less financial aid. Or said universities and colleges downsize, reducing the number of professors and students attending which means fewer local students get to go to college.

This seems like a 'cut your nose to spite your face' sort of reaction fueled entirely by xenophobia rather than any sort of rational basis.

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/foreign-students-pay-up-to-t...


MIT and Harvard. They have billions in endowments.

I’d prefer a kid from the Bronx or san joaquin valley or butte Montana get a scholarship than someone who could choose any school they want (intl students going to these places are not poor).


Okay, and? What about the smaller universities that rely on foreign tuition? This is a policy that goes beyond affecting MIT and Harvard. You're right these international students are not poor and that's the point, they subsidize the poorer students. University admissions are not a zero sum game.


Well, if it’s for the money then they can do it remotely charge them a bunch for their Ivy League diploma while reserving the local spots for our own student body.


Except if international students are in the US, then they're contributing to the US economy and not their home economy. They're buying goods in the US, paying taxes in the US and perhaps most importantly, they're exporting US culture back into their home country if they go back or resulting in positive brain drain to the US if they stay.

Do you not realize how bad of an idea it is to just completely cut all of that off? For benefits that aren't even tangible because universities grow to fit the number of students attending?

Again, it's not based in any sort of rational basis. It's xenophobia.


Locophilia.


The data doesn't back up your claims. The only Americans who are "losing" jobs to foreigners are males who didn't graduate high school. In every other category, it can be shown that immigrants only add to the workforce, they don't replace it.


So only the most vulnerable in our society...


Women as well as there isn’t enough demand to pull them in either by choice or by policy.

Even Bernie used to say this (before he went national).


I imagine international students are a major source of revenue for most schools, and help subsidize the ever-increasing tuition and fees for domestic students.


FYI, international students have to pay often significantly more as turion fee alone.

Smart local students go to in state public schools to avoid crippling debt.


This policy does not prevent students from attending the universities. It prevents them from living in the US. Since it is July, there is no way that universities would fill slots left open by international students who withdraw their attendance at this point. This policy cannot produce an outcome of enabling more Americans to attend top universities.


The actual complaint is here:

http://orgchart.mit.edu/sites/default/files/reports/20200708...

My very short summary:

- there is a rule in place whereby international students who don't take most classes in person will lose their visa status

- this rule was suspended by ICE on March 13 for the duration of the Covid19 emergency

- ICE now has changed their mind for the Fall semester

- the core part of the complaint is in paragraph 10. It has 2 parts: the ICE u-turn is "arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion", and it did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act.

Now, IANAL, but here's my take: for the first part of the complaint, it's very likely ICE will be able to produce some "analysis" so they can claim their decision was not arbitrary and capricious, but rather made after careful consideration. The second part of the complaint has probably better odds of success. If Harvard and MIT can pinpoint the exact part of the Administrative Procedure Act that ICE did not follow, a judge could issue the injunction. Just recently the Supreme Court overturned Trump administration's decision to revoke DACA based on this Administrative Procedure Act.

In the end though, even if this injunction is issued, it may take months, and it may arrive too late to be of any help for the international students who will lose their visa.

It would be fantastic though if someone with legal expertise were to opine on this in this forum.


Not a lawyer, but I think the recent Supreme Court decision on DACA - https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-587_5ifl.pdf - is telling:

    To be clear, DHS was not required to do any of this or to
    “consider all policy alternatives in reaching [its] decision.”
    State Farm, 463 U. S., at 51. Agencies are not compelled to
    explore “every alternative device and thought conceivable
    by the mind of man.” Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp.
    v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U. S. 519,
    551 (1978). But, because DHS was “not writing on a blank
    slate,” post, at 22, n. 14 (opinion of THOMAS, J.), it was required
    to assess whether there were reliance interests, determine
    whether they were significant, and weigh any such
    interests against competing policy concerns.

The issue of reliance, I think, is important here - did ICE actually internally discuss the extent to which international students and their families were relying on the previous guidance, and did they actually do any kind of analysis that the benefit to society and economy would outweigh those reliance interests, even for non-citizens? Given that societal benefits are practically nonexistent and that many university systems economically rely on continuity of their matriculated student bodies, particularly international students paying non-subsidized tuition, it seems unlikely that such an analysis was done in good faith.


Yeah, we have a concept in common law called legitimate expectation that is quite similar to the point you're getting at. Don't know about the U.S.

Having recently been on the right side of a judicial challenge, I must say that in my non-lawyer view, it is quite a powerful check on a decision-maker's discretion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legitimate_expectation


ICE hasn't really "change their mind." When they relaxed rules in March it was never going to be an indefinite change. The new rules are much more lenient than they could have been.


"We could have been even more cruel" isn't a compelling defense.

There is more covid spread in the US today than in March when they created the exemption. If the policy made sense in March, it makes sense today.


I would call the government enforcing the basic requirements of a visa "cruel".

Put another way, currently the government is not issuing any non-immigrant visas EXCEPT for student visas. Those students just have to comply with rule that they can't take an entirely online course of study, which has always been the case. The government requires students take at least some in person classes is to enforce the security requirements of the visa.


The basic requirements for the visa are ridiculous in the time of covid. That's why the exception was originally created and why it should continue to exist. The fact that a regulation exists does not make it good by definition. These people are already here in the US.

This change helps nobody and hurts hundreds of thousands. It is cruel.


If you want to change the basic requirements of the visa that would require legislation.

Most schools will end up offering some in person classes for international students. That solves the problem and isn't a major risk for spreading the virus.

Other schools might not offer that, and their international students will have the option of taking classes online from their home country or not taking classes this semester. A tough decision, but at the end of the day not many students will be in this situation.

This isn't going to be some kind of disaster, people have really overreacted to this.


> If you want to change the basic requirements of the visa that would require legislation.

Clearly not, since ICE was able to adjust the requirements in March for the spring semester. The national emergency is still ongoing. What was stopping them from continuing the exception?


>there is a rule in place whereby international students who don't take most classes in person will lose their visa status

It doesn't say you can't take most classes online, it says you can't take all classes online. In a hybrid model, it gets a little grey, but nothing specifically says you can't take most classes online.

>Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” certifying that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/sevp-modifies-temporary-ex...


I expect a temporary injunction while the case proceeds.


Here's the email I got from Faculty this morning:

Dear members of the FAS community,

Shortly after Monday’s announcement about our plans for the fall semester, we learned that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new regulations that imperil the lives and academic progress of our international students and scholars. These new guidelines directly undermine the careful planning and approach we have taken for fall, specifically our plans to deliver all graduate and undergraduate instruction online. This plan was put forth to reconcile the health and safety needs of our community and the vitality of our academic mission, including accounting for the needs of our diverse, global community of students and scholars who face a host of limitations and complications brought about by the pandemic. This reckless reversal by ICE hurts our students and it hurts us as an institution. The FAS is an international community and that is a source of pride and inspiration. That we bring together the voices and perspectives of some of the brightest minds from across the world is fundamental to our intellectual strength and ambitions and must be protected.

While there is still much we don’t know, we are working quickly to respond to the needs of our international students and scholars impacted by this news. To that end, early this morning, President Bacow announced that Harvard, together with MIT, has filed pleadings in the US District Court in Boston to seek a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of this order. In doing so, we continue to be guided by our core principles to protect our academic enterprise and preserve access and affordability for all our students. The new ICE order is a direct threat to that institutional imperative. But we are committed to doing all we can to enable our students and scholars to continue their studies without further disruption to their lives and academic progress in an already uncertain and challenging time.

Many of you have reached out to express your concern about these new regulations and what they will mean for our students. I share your deep distress over this new order, and I assure you that the FAS and the University are working tirelessly to fight on behalf of our international students and scholars. We will explore all avenues and exhaust all options to chart a path forward that protects their place as valued members of the FAS community.

Sincerely,

Claudine

It's the most strongly worded email I've ever seen from Harvard. It seems like they believe that the Trump Administration is trying to manipulate them into opening prematurely, and that they are very cognizant of this.


> It seems like they believe that the Trump Administration is trying to manipulate them into opening prematurely, and that they are very cognizant of this.

You're right, and the court filing addresses this explicitly; see 75) in http://orgchart.mit.edu/sites/default/files/reports/20200708...


Oh it gets worse, he's threatening to cut federal funding to schools that don't reopen: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/08/trump-schools-reope...


Just imagine, SCOTUS decided that limiting access to voting places is OK during COVID. This means that COVID can legally be used to restrict voting an, presumably, do all kind of wierd things come November.

A smart would-be dictator would now use COVID as strategy to win reelection or post-pone the election. Ideally in a way that doesn't result in public uproar. Instead Trump still tries to ignore COVID into oblivion.

But as Napoleon said, don't interupt your enemy when he's hurting himself.


Covid could have been used to win reelection by simply accepting that it was a problem and leading everyone through the challenging time. The wartime president boost. Something else is going on here, like foreign interference (I hadn't bought into this theory before Covid) or neurodegenerative disease.


This appears to be an appropriate response, rather than hacking around the edict by creating pro-forma trivial in-person classes.


Hacking? You're in for a surprise when you discover what tax attorneys do everyday. If that's the way it was written, it's mostly fair game. That's why it's tough to write effective laws that consider the actual incentives that they are placing instead of what they (whoever is writing) are expecting to happen in their minds.


I think a trivial in-person classes may be an intentional loophole. It stops online-only universities from being a gateway to an easy long-term Visa.


There is no such thing as an easy long term visa for these schools to be a gateway for.


I meant longer term visas rather than semipermanent visas. You could pay a few thousand a year for an online college to stay in the US wherever you want. I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that, but it's probably easier to work under the table this way when you don't have to worry about being deported.


Sure there is or at least significantly easier than without going to a US school. There's a reason all these international students are going to US schools.

Go to a US school. Get OPT visa status upon graduation for 3 years. Get a job at a US company using OPT status for your work authorization. Have US company file for a H1B lottery every year until OPT runs out. This whole time you're legally allowed to work in the US.


I think both are necessary. ICE is ridiculous, there should be a reasonable exception given the pandemic. I’m embarrassed this is happening in America.


So we should ignore laws during times of pandemic?

Edit: I can’t seem to reply to the comment below mine this might be due to the negative karma. I will edit this comment as my reply.

I was a foreigner on a visa for 14 years in America. A lot of these students are playing the system if ICE is deporting them for things like not studying or breaking the rules of the visa then they are doing their job. I have been in their position and they give you a lot of chances if ICE has to grab you then your doing something really wrong.

Edit #2: reply button is back.

Edit #3: you can downvote me as much as you want but it doesn’t change facts.


No. Ideally, ICE would've announced this much sooner so that Universities could prepare. Or asked for an exception or the laws changed so that this isn't a problem.

Instead they chose to announce this and give universities 9 days to get everything figured out.

This is patently immoral for visa holders that would otherwise be allowed to be in the country given any other circumstances (ie not a global pandemic)


What's worse is that they didn't just make a decision. They reversed their previous statement that universities were using as guidance up until this point.


Universities were expecting updated guidance for the fall. This didn't come as huge surprise to people who deal with this stuff.


Can they not continue their education online from their host countries and re-enter the US at a later time?


You need to maintain continuous residency for OPT, so this ruins a student’s chance at staying in the US after they graduate.

The timing is also incredibly sudden. Graduate students have been in the US for 5-10 years. They have leases and cars and friends. Giving them a few weeks before deporting them is cruel.


Wouldn't Graduate students be exempt from this to begin with? At least at the Ph.D level, past the first year or two you aren't even taking classes, the whole point of the degree is the research. They are also usually employed by the University as teaching assistants. How would this law impact them?

Note: I support the lawsuit, I have many friends who are or were international students, I live in Boston, just wondering how this would affect research-based grad students.


Most graduate students are in the US on F-1 visas [1] and still need to maintain a minimum course unit enrollment per semester in order to be in status [2]. IANAL, but I would assume they're not exempt from the new in-person requirement for their registered courses.

[1] https://educationusa.state.gov/your-5-steps-us-study/apply-y...

[2] https://ois.usc.edu/students/maintainingstudentstatus/, https://international.northeastern.edu/ogs/maintaining-statu..., etc. (many schools have some version of this FAQ page on their websites)


I don't know since I am not a lawyer.

I do know that I have faculty friends who have had their grad students come to them in tremendous distress related to this policy. So at least some people believe that this would deport graduate students who have advanced to candidacy.


> Giving them a few weeks before deporting them is cruel.

This is the intention of the Trump admin's policy: discouraging people from immigrating by whatever ugly means necessary, no matter if illegal or not. This has been a consistent line from the beginning with the infamous "muslim ban".


The problem is with international students already in the country risking traveling during a pandemic. Or the alternative: risking in-person classes.


The schools can just provide an in person class once a week and they could wear a mask in class and sit farther away from people. I think a lot of these students either don’t want to go to class or are working on their visa. I’ve been in their situation so I have a doubt ICE is randomly coming for them. If they did nothing wrong they can present their case in immigration court.


If you were actually someone who has been through the US immigration process, your lack of empathy is appalling.


> I’ve been in their situation

You’ve been in their situation of being forced to attend in-person classes during a pandemic?


Yes, the international students followed the rules to get a student visa and get accepted into a university. They arranged for everything from admission/acceptance to travel to tuition. The pandemic a calamitous event and the law needs exemptions for this scenario.

Edit: To the OP, I know how the system is played too, many immigration cases involve some level of fraud. Regardless, the cruelty factor of the system is that it allows you to commit your life to living here, while at the same time maintaining the threat of the rug being pulled out from right under you. It’s intense, and I’d like to see some of that mitigated.

“Immediate deportation” is the scariest thing for anyone without a Green card.


I agree it’s very scary but as of now they have to debate their case in immigration court. MIT and Harvard should have made a case for this a long time ago. I also want to know if they are grabbing all student or those they suspect of things like working on their visa. If your like me you understand some people just really game the system.


They should have preemptively assumed that the administration would suddenly withdraw the exception due to the pandemic? What?

Nobody is gaming the system here. These are normal students who just want to live their lives without being told to pack up and leave with a couple weeks notice.

Can you imagine the stress knowing that even if you do literally everything right that some bonehead who hates immigrants can change policy and suddenly make you need to completely rearrange your life?


Are laws meant to serve the people or to arrest them to slavery?

Is a pandemic not a good enough reason to create exceptions?

More importantly, if this administration could create exceptions for tax filing, printing money and stopping evictions, why can't they do it for the health of schools and educators?


Laws are meant to serve the people. However I feel there is more to this story. We can’t just tell ICE to ignore the law. The law should be updated if necessary but as of now it’s the law.

Pandemic is a good reason for exceptions they can bring this up in immigration court. That’s what it’s for.

They should have changed the law way before ICE came don’t you think? Why is it a concern now? I feel like something isn’t being presented.


Why don't you apply the same logic to PPP program or eviction moratorium or tax returns?

> However I feel there is more to this story. We can’t just tell Treasury and FED to ignore the law. The law should be updated if necessary but as of now it’s the law. Pandemic is a good reason for exceptions they can bring this up in supreme court. That’s what it’s for.

> They should have changed the law way before the FED came don’t you think? Why is it a concern now? I feel like something isn’t being presented.

Either you are being naive or more likely evasive. We elect lawmakers to make the right choices on our behalf, NOT to rigidly debate laws in emergencies. Selectively applying exceptions in one place while not at another (clearly marked by partisan politics) is NOT representative.


Malicious compliance is a perfectly appropriate response to a malicious law.


It is a mitigation strategy, but it doesn't fix the problem directly.


No, it's what you fall back on when you can't fix the problem directly.


During the Vietnam war, colleges stopped grading so that it was impossible for anyone to fail out and get drafted. Why can't these colleges just create in-person classes that meet once a semester with optional attendance?


They could try.

But this completely misunderstands how scary it is to be trying to follow the rules as somebody on a visa. "Let me try this weird loophole and hope that no agent comes to me and says 'get out of the country by the end of the week' for violating the spirit of the law" is not a compelling option.

US Immigration is already a Kafkaesque nightmare of confusion and uncertainty. Creating the equivalent of a green card marriage in an almost completely transparent and obvious manner isn't going to put people at ease.


The regulations explicitly mention and close this loophole. To count as in-person it can't just be for people who need help with their visa, and attendance can't be optional or sporadic.


I mean probably the safety of the staff?


If you are going to go big, go big. In person class with no attendance required. All projects are submitted to an online portal, like which already happens in in person classes.


ICE is evil, not stupid; they'll probably rule that as invalid.


This is actually happening in Berkeley.


Serious question: can the schools just have a required course that's like, walk around campus for an hour with a mask and describe your feelings? Pass/fail, 1 credit.


Some students can't return for legal, practical or health reasons until covid is done (other can but probably shouldn't for personal reasons). So they lose their visa and won't be able to finish their degree when things do reopen.


Normally, international students cannot take more than 3 credits of online classes to keep their visas. This rule was temporarily suspended in March, but is being reverted by ICE while the schools are not ready to fully reopen.


No it's not. They're still allowing an exception that allows any number of online classes. They're just requiring at least one in-person credit, and for the university to say it is at least partially open.


The lawsuit will be strong if they say online classes are temporary in order to not to violate governor order and will be in-person as soon as governor allows. I don’t see any reason ICE can argue against that.


Lots of the comments are talking about this as an MIT/Harvard issue. To be clear, MIT and Harvard are the first to file suit, but this radical policy by ICE dramatically affects every college and university, and every international student, in the country. And the suit seeks to strike down the policy altogether, not get an exemption for these two schools.

This is not about Harvard and MIT at all, except insofar as they wound up being the ones with the position and deep pockets to most quickly file a strong suit to stop it.


Higher education is due for a massive price correction. The cost of education has outstripped market ability and the movement to online while still asking top dollar tuition is going to make those education institutions increasingly pressured. Going online increases international ability to compete for students as well as professors, and this will also increase pressure on tuition pricing.

Higher ed tuition pricing is bound for a massive correction.


I think this is a first step in kicking out Chinese students. If you're from France, South Korea, Nigeria, etc. you'll be invited back soon enough. This is not a judgement on that plan, just a prediction.


Why do you think that?


There has been multiple stories in the news recently about crackdowns on Chinese "spies" in the universities. I'm using the word spy loosely there, that's not the word that has been in the news. They talk about it more in the sense of secretly getting funding from China and not claiming it or whatever. My perception is that the belief is that this is a major avenue through which US tech is "stolen".

The administration recently hinted that they will be blocking Chinese apps such as TikTok from being used in the US.

The administration also hinted at breaking the currency peg to the dollar.

A cold war is ongoing.


Right decision and all universities should follow suit to help the students.

Imagine us being students and having to go through the pain, while Covid is all over the map.


Imagine playing politics over people's education and location of current residence.

What a world.


I firmly believe this is being done to damage the reputation of the USA as an immigrant friendly country in order to induce a major brain drain while also stemming the flow of Chinese students away from the mainland.


> in order to induce a major brain drain

What is the motivation for desiring this, in your view?


Northeastern University (in Boston) has announced that they're joining MIT and Harvard's lawsuit: https://twitter.com/Northeastern/status/1280961230233100297


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