Attorney General Gurbir Grewal joined 17 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit seeking to overturn an Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive requiring international students to return home if most or all of their courses are held electronically.
“This ICE Directive puts the lives of all of our students at risk by using international students and the tuition they pay as leverage to force colleges and universities to start in-person classes before they are ready,” Grewal said. “It is reckless, irresponsible, immoral and illegal.”
Many New Jersey universities are opting to hold few in-person classes in the fall, instead choosing to hold most courses online.
That means thousands of international students who pay more in tuition than their stateside counterparts could be sent home.
The attorneys’ general suit claims Ice is endangering students, faculty and university staff by forcing in-person classes.
“Not only is ICE’s new Directive a disservice to international students who are pursuing higher education in the middle of a global pandemic, but by providing less than two weeks’ notice, ICE is carelessly pressuring institutions to make critical decisions about instruction for the fall 2020 semester,” said Diana Gonzalez, Interim Secretary of Higher Education. “An appropriate restart of campus activities must be guided by public health data and prioritize inclusion and safety of our students.”