In a victory for CWA members and all workers, the harmful decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to revoke visas of degree-seeking international students if their institutions move to online instruction during COVID-19 was rescinded in court on Tuesday. The lawsuit that got the decision overturned was filed by Harvard and MIT and supported by CWA, AFT, and other labor unions with an amicus brief. CWA members in higher education shared information, circulated petitions, and mobilized members to provide testimonials for the brief.
Serving no other purpose than to forward Trump's radical isolationist agenda, the move created critical uncertainty for more than one million students who are living, working, and studying in the U.S., including many CWA members.
"Playing political games with international students' visa statuses in a cynical attempt to force campuses to reopen in person in the fall, despite clear evidence that indoor activity and proximity is a leading cause of COVID-19 spread, is both dangerous and xenophobic – par for the Trump course," said CWA Public, Healthcare, and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook.
Following the hearing, students will be able to follow guidance issued earlier this spring that allows them to retain their visas, regardless of whether their campuses offer their program online or not.