Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Engineering are suing the Trump administration in federal court in excess of a move to strip global college students of their visas if their coursework is fully on the net when classes resume in the tumble.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Courtroom in Boston against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, seeks a non permanent restraining buy against the plan, which was declared Monday. The lawsuit also seeks an get vacating the plan and a declaration that it is illegal.

ICE declared Monday that “it was rescinding its COVID-19 exemption for intercontinental pupils, requiring all students on F-1 visas whose university curricula are completely on-line to depart the country, and barring any such pupils at the moment outside the house the United States from moving into or re-coming into the United States,” the lawsuit said.

“ICE’s motion leaves hundreds of countless numbers of global learners with no academic solutions inside the United States,” the lawsuit stated.

“Just weeks from the start off of the tumble semester, these pupils are mostly not able to transfer to universities supplying on-campus instruction,” the lawsuit claimed, including that for quite a few such college students, returning to their house countries for on line instruction is “impossible, impracticable, prohibitively highly-priced, and/or harmful.”

The Trump administration’s shift was found as a way to tension schools and universities to re-open their campuses with in-man or woman lessons all through the pandemic.

That, the lawsuit said, would require housing pupils in “densely packed residential halls,” which is neither secure nor “educationally a good idea,” and drive educational institutions to reopen without the need of enough time to address “the added dangers to the overall health and safety of their communities.”

“The effect — and most likely even the target — is to develop as a lot chaos for universities and international pupils as doable,” the lawsuit claimed.

DHS and ICE did not immediately react to requests for comment.

The authorities declared Monday that global college students will not be authorized to stay in the region if the institution in which they’re enrolled is holding on-line-only classes this drop, and these failing to comply with the principles will risk deportation.

College students on F-1 and M-1 visas who deal with such a situation “have to depart the country or consider other actions, this kind of as transferring to a university with in-individual instruction to remain in lawful position,” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a news launch.

These who violate the principles “may face immigration penalties which include, but not minimal to, the initiation of removing proceedings,” the agency mentioned.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy DHS secretary, defended the coverage through an job interview with CNN Tuesday.

“If they’re not likely to be a scholar or they are heading to be 100 p.c on the web, then they do not have a basis to be below,” Cuccinelli mentioned. “They really should go property, and then they can return when the college opens.”

On Monday, Harvard’s College of Arts and Sciences introduced options to convey again up to 40 per cent of its undergraduates again to campus, together with all first-12 months college students, for the tumble semester. MIT claimed only seniors will be invited back to campus this drop semester.

Chris Wintersinger, a Harvard Ph.D. student from Canada, advised NBC News he felt the Trump administration’s immigration guidelines do not “feel to acknowledge the humanness and value that people these kinds of as myself bring to this place.”

“In brief, these orders 1 following one more distract me and my colleagues from the operate we’re executing and make us concern whether or not we are certainly valued and welcomed below,” he explained.

Wintersinger, a bioengineering pupil, reported he may not be required to leave the United States beneath the purchase due to the fact he bodily functions in a lab. But he continue to feels impacted by the policy, “simply because of the uncertainty it weighs upon my status here in the United States.”

“Educating international pupils here and then observing policy be enacted that forces us out or tends to make us question our price in this article is analogous to a farmer stripping their topsoil and shipping and delivery it much absent,” he explained. “It truly is totally nonsensical, silly, and cruel.”

Tatum Rezvani contributed.