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Trump Administration Nixes Plan To Strip International Students Of Visas

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(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Trump administration told a federal judge today it will withdraw a plan to strip visas from international students who are unable to enroll in in-person college classes this fall.

The news reverberated in Southern California, where many college campuses joined lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security after its now-rescinded policy was announced last week. The policy had required international students to take at least one in-person class. Students in colleges and universities who have switched to online-only instruction because of the coronavirus faced expulsion from the U.S.

Tens of thousands of international students attend colleges and universities in Southern California -- USC alone enrolls nearly 12,000 students, with thousands more at UCLA and other schools. California’s community colleges enroll nearly 22,000 international students, most of them in Southern California.

“We are pleased with the change in direction,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the chancellor of California’s 115 community colleges.

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The college system joined a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Despite the news, Oakley said he’s not ready to withdraw from the lawsuit:

“We've seen over the last three years, many changes in direction in this administration … we're waiting to see what they do next.”

Becerra’s office is also waiting for more information from the Department of Homeland Security before it tells the court that it’s withdrawing its suit.

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