Vermont Joins Suit on ICE Foreign Student Immigration Rule

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -

The state of Vermont is suing the Department of Homeland Security to block a rule that would require foreign students to leave the country if their school provides classes only online this fall, the Attorney General’s office said Monday.

Vermont is one of 17 states and the District of Columbia that filed the suit Monday, arguing that the rule is cruel and unlawful.

Last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified colleges that international students would have to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools operate entirely online this fall.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan says the rule would be a huge loss to Vermont and its students. As of Friday, The University of Vermont had 566 active students from 67 countries who could be affected.

UVM is currently planning to bring students back to campus for the fall semester with a combination of in-person and remote classes.

Meanwhile, six people in Vermont have tested positive for the virus, bringing the statewide case total since the pandemic began to just over 1,300, the Health Department reported Monday.

The state death toll remains at 56, where it has remained for almost a month.

On Friday, state officials reported the average age of people infected with the virus has dropped to below 40. During the opening weeks of the pandemic in March and April, the average age was between 50 and 55.