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A federal judge heard arguments Friday in Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to strip F-1 visas from international students attending universities that will go completely online this fall. Rutgers University and Syracuse University will join Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit, and John Hopkins University and California schools filed separate lawsuits. President Trump on Friday also called for the Treasury Department to re-examine the tax-exempt status and funding of universities that are about “radical left indoctrination, not education” Scrutinizing a tax-exempt status based on ideological beliefs is against the law. The New York Times
In other national immigration news…
70% of Detainees at One Facility Test Positive for COVID-19
At least 70% of the people detained at the Farmville Detention Center in Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 366 detainees tested for the virus, 267 tested positive, 19 tested negative, and 80 results were still pending, according to court documents. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson played this huge percentage down by telling WAMU/DCist most individuals were asymptomatic. A coronavirus outbreak began at the facility after two detainees transferred there tested positive for the virus. In June, 74 detainees were transferred to the facility from Florida and Arizona, 51 of whom tested positive. WAMU/DCist
Dozens of Foreign Journalists Will Lose Visas
Michael Pack, the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an agency that oversees state-run media such as Voices of America, will not renew the visas of dozens of foreign nationals who work for VOA, according to NPR. One VOA staffer said this could lead to the departure of more than 100 staffers. The news agency typically hires foreign nationals who speak different languages to help it provide news to places without a free or robust press. President Trump nominated Pack two years ago, but the Senate only confirmed him last month. He immediately began his job by dismissing the directors of all the agency’s divisions. NPR
USCIS Ends Printing Contract
The Trump administration has allegedly cut its contract with a company that prints documents related to immigration services. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it was seeking to move the services in-house due to its financial situation, and would also be ratcheting down on printing. The agency, which relies on immigration fees, reportedly faces a $1.2 billion budget shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s responsible for printing essential documents for immigrants such as permanent residency cards at two facilities, Corbin in Kentucky and Lee’s Summit in Missouri. Corbin’s facility has been shut down for three weeks and Lee’s Summit is reportedly operating at a lower capacity. The Washington Post [Opinion]
How ICE Became a Global Coronavirus Spreader
Unsafe detention conditions and inconsistent testing made ICE a global spreader of COVID-19, an investigation by The Marshall Project and The New York Times found. Despite the pandemic, ICE has flown 750 domestic flights and 200 deportation flights since March. Four deportees from India, Haiti, Guatemala and El Salvador interviewed by the Times said they tested positive for the virus shortly after arriving in the U.S. One detainee from Kyrgyzstan said he was symptomatic when he was moved from Pike County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania to the Prairieland Detention Facility in Texas, where he tested positive. The Marshall Project and The New York Times
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