The University of California system announced Wednesday that it plans to file suit against the federal government for “violating the rights of the university and its students.”
On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it would bar international students from staying in the country if they attend U.S. universities that only offer online courses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit will seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar ICE from enforcing an order that UC President Janet Napolitano called “mean-spirited, arbitrary and damaging to America," according to a UC news release.
According to 2019 fall enrollment data, 27,205 of UC’s 226,125 undergraduate students are non-resident international while 13,995 of the University’s 58,941 graduate students are non-resident international.
UC’s suit will argue, among other things, that ICE failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act and failed to consider both the University’s and students’ reliance interests when it barred international students from attending universities that only offer online courses during the ongoing health crisis. Like most universities in America, UC is offering a mix of online and in-person courses this fall as it grapples with COVID-19 and how to safely provide top-quality education to its students.