A group of 15 House Republicans lobbied President Trump’s administration to reopen a loophole that gives visas to online-only foreign students just as the White House reversed policy to do just that.
This month, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced it would enforce federal law that dictates that foreign students are not awarded F-1 student visas for the purpose of attending online courses.
On Tuesday, Trump’s administration dropped the requirement for F-1 foreign student visa holders to attend in-person classes, reopening the loophole allowing them to stay in the U.S. The move came after major pressure from Fortune 500 companies, the Chamber of Commerce, and a lawsuit by Harvard University and MIT.
While the Trump administration dropped the visa requirement, 15 House Republicans signed a letter lobbying ICE to allow foreign students to attend online classes to stay in the U.S. on F-1 visas.
The 15 House Republicans include:
- Rodney Davis (R-IL)
- Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Rob Woodall (R-GA)
- John Curtis (R-UT)
- Peter King (R-NY)
- Pete Olsen (R-TX)
- Tom Reed (R-NY)
- Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
- Tom Cole (R-OK)
- Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Steve Stivers (R-OH)
- David Joyce (R-OH)
- Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
- Frank Lucas (R-OK)
- Don Bacon (R-NE)
The full letter can be read here:
The F-1 student visa program — as well as the Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa program that delivers foreign graduates to businesses at discounted rates — is a cash cow for American colleges and universities.
Every year, nearly one million foreign students who fill seats in undergraduate and graduate programs provide at least $9 billion to U.S. university systems. These foreign students often pay three times as much in tuition and fees as their American counterparts.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.