Reporting for Grinnell College’s student newspaper, The Scarlet and Black, Wini Austin quotes C&C’s Phil Curtis:

Philip Curtis, co-managing partner at business immigration law firm Chin & Curtis LLP, explained that the new directive is being challenged because it violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) of 1946.


“Basically, the APA says that if the administration wants to make a rule which changes substantive rights and responsibilities, it has to do so for a reason, and it has to do so according to a certain process,” said Curtis. “If you’re going to change the rules that govern how we behave, you have to publish your intent to do that, and you have to give people a period of time to comment about it, you have to deal with those comments. You can’t just announce a rule that changes everything.”

“The effect—and perhaps even the goal—is to create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible,” the plaintiffs wrote of the new restrictions.


“It doesn’t explain why [they’re] doing it, even though the COVID-19 situation seems to be getting worse,” said Curtis. “The action they’re proposing to do is not related to the problem they’re trying to solve.”

“The president, by announcing this, is trying to force them to do what he wants them to do. … He wants things to look normal again,” said Curtis. “There’s a very anti-immigrant bias and this is part of the program to reduce immigration to the United States irrespective of the personal or economic cost of doing so.”


Despite the shock and uncertainty following ICE’s announcement, Curtis is hopeful that the lawsuit will effectively bar the guidelines from taking effect. “I’m optimistic that the federal courts will find that the administration has abused its discretion by announcing this rule,” he said. In a hearing on Friday morning, Massachusetts federal judge Allison D. Burroughs put off the decision until a second hearing which will take place on Tuesday.

Austin, Wini. “New ICE Regulations Threaten International Students with Deportation, Exclusion as College Nears Start of Classes.” The Scarlet and Black, 11 July 2020.

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