Just a week after warning it would bar international students taking online classes only, Washington has called off the policy.
A U.S. District Judge in Massachusetts said on Tuesday that the government and the plaintiffs reached a resolution in their lawsuit and will "return to the status quo."
The change of heart came after Harvard University and MIT last week sued both the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Trump administration warned just last Monday that students at schools offering only online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic would need to either leave the U.S. or transfer schools.
Calling the rule unlawful, the country's top universities argued immigration officials violated procedural rules by issuing the guidance with no justification or allowing public response.
They further added that the rule reflects government efforts to force universities to reopen despite COVID-19 dangers.
At least 17 states and dozens of local colleges joined forces to file the suit.
However, immigration officials say they notified colleges that any guidance prompted by the COVID-19 crisis is subject to change.
For now, the decision brings a sense of relief to more than a million international students in the U.S. after days of worrying they could be deported.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.