New Delhi: In a big blow to US President Donald Trump, the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have on Wednesday sued the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the Trump Administration over new guidelines that prevents foreign students from staying in the United States if their courses go entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Letter Containing Poison Nearly Reaches Donald Trump Via White House

As per the new guidelines issued by federal immigration authorities on Monday, international students will be asked to leave the US or transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online in this pandemic situation. Also Read - Envelope Containing Poison Ricin Sent to President Trump at White House Intercepted

Amid pandemic, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement had put additional pressure on universities to reopen even during the spread of COVID-19 among young adults. Also Read - US SC Justice Ginsburg Dies Setting up Pre-poll Confrontation

Colleges were issued the guidelines on the same day that some institutions, including Harvard University, announced that all instruction will be offered virtually.

In the lawsuit filed on Wednesday at the US District Court in Boston, the universities requested a temporary restraining order to pause the July 6 government order.

Saying that the order was “unlawful”, the universities urged the court to stop the US Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the enforcing such guidelines that will force international students to leave America.

In the fresh guidelines, the US Department of State said it will not issue visas to students in schools or programmes that are fully online for the fall semester nor would the US Customs and Border Protection allow the students to enter the US.

As per updates, India sent the largest number of students (251,290) to the US after China (478,732) in 2017 and 2018.