More than 200 colleges and universities are suing ICE over its new guidelines on international students. Under the new policy, international students should take classes in the fall or they will have to leave the U.S.

The universities are backing Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit against the ICE, which allegedly jeopardizes the safety of the students and compels schools to reconsider fall plans they have spent months preparing. The schools are now demanding urgent action against the new restriction, which has been barring students from entering the country since it was announced on July 6.

On Monday, schools signed court briefs in Boston to challenge the new policy, which states that international students cannot stay in the U.S if they take all their online classes online this fall. In the brief filed by 59 universities, the schools challenged the legal grounds of the policy, saying it forces schools to “choose between opening their campuses regardless of the public health risks, or forcing their international students to leave the country.”

“These students are core members of our institutions,” wrote the schools. “They make valuable contributions to our classrooms, campuses and communities—contributions that have helped make American higher education the envy of the world.”

The schools, which include all of Harvard’s companions in the Ivy League and many other highly regarded schools like Stanford and Duke Universities, asked the court on Monday to block the rule immediately and stop turning students away. These universities are home to more than 213,000 international students.

A judge is set to hear arguments in the case on Tuesday. If the new policy is upheld, colleges and universities across the country will have until Wednesday to inform ICE of their plans to be fully online this fall. If the case is still not suspended, then schools will be forced to reconsider their fall plans.

Last Wednesday, a student at DePaul University was banned from entering the country after arriving in San Francisco following the new policy announcement. A Harvard student from Belarus was also turned away from a flight at an airport in Minsk last week.

Harvard Graduates
Harvard Business School students cheer during their graduation ceremonies in Boston, Massachusetts, in this June 4, 2009 file picture. Since the financial crisis, investment banks have lost some of their shine for the cream of the college crop. At Harvard Business School, only 7 percent of the Class of 2012 went into investment banking, down from 10 percent in 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files

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