(KYMA, KECY)-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the Trump administration would be sued over guidelines issued this week that will block bar international students from remaining in the U.S. if they only take classes online.
NBC News says the lawsuit, which was expected to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for Northern California, seeks a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the new visa policy.
Under the directive, students on F-1 and M-1 visas "must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.
Those who violate the rules "may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings," the agency said.
Some colleges and universities have plans to hold online classes in the fall as the U.S. struggles due to the pandemic.
Reports show international students contributed nearly $41 billion to the national economy in the 2018-19 academic year, according to the nonprofit NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
"Shame on the Trump administration for risking not only the education opportunities for students who earned the chance to go to college but now their health and well-being as well," Becerra said.
Becerra said the directive "could put everybody at risk of getting the coronavirus or being subject to deportation" if students don't comply.
The lawsuit will mark the 86th legal action California has taken against the White House, according to the attorney general's office. "We'll keep going," Becerra said.