MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel says the university will be joining an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit that challenges visa restrictions on international students.

Gabel says the July 6 directive from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will require nonimmigrant students who are taking fully online course this fall to immediately leave the United States.

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The University of Minnesota is part of a growing number of universities, including many in the Big Ten, filing amicus briefs in support of the Harvard and Minnesota Institute of Technology lawsuit against the federal government.

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“Our planned hybrid teaching model this fall supports both in-person and online courses, which should reduce the impact of ICE’s decision on our nearly 6,200 international students systemwide,” Gabel said. “However, we cannot stand by in good conscience as international students are forced out of the country through no fault of their own.”

Gabel added that universities are taking precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international students shouldn’t be forced out for that reason.

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“We stand with our international students, and international students across the country, in asking that the ICE directive be overturned immediately,” Gabel said.