Skip to main content

Tech giants back suit against Trump rule that may deport students

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and several other major tech companies oppose a new Trump administration rule that may send international students home if they don’t physically attend classes this fall.

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), over rules that require in-person teaching for student visas. This means that international students who are enrolled in universities that are not holding in-person classes may be deported to their home countries.

The decision of the Trump administration to rescind the COVID-19 exemption to ICE’s in-person class requirements was described by Harvard and MIT as “arbitrary and capricious.” Nearly 60 universities have expressed their support for the lawsuit, according to Bloomberg, and tech companies are now joining the fight.

In a court brief, 13 tech companies and six associations filed their arguments against the rule, claiming that international students make meaningful contributions to the economy, both as residents and eventually as part of the workforce, and help maintain the excellence of colleges and universities.

In addition to Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, the other tech companies involved in the brief are Adobe Systems, Boston Consulting Group, Box, Dropbox, GitHub, LinkedIn, PayPal, SalesForce, Spotify, and Twitter. They are joined by the United States Chamber of Commerce, BSA, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Internet Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, and TechNet.

The brief cited a study that claimed “more than half of the international students studying  in the United States — over 575,000 people — could have their education interrupted, and might be unable to complete their degrees.”

“Dropbox wouldn’t exist without immigrants. The students impacted by the Administration’s order make significant contributions to our society and the effect of the order will hurt U.S. competitiveness. We’ll keep fighting for immigration reform because it makes our country stronger and more diverse,” a spokesperson for Dropbox said in a statement to Digital Trends.

Microsoft President Brad Smith also tweeted his thoughts on the matter.

COVID-19 has thrown universities and students into a state of uncertainty. We need to give all students – including those who’ve come to the US from abroad to learn – flexibility during this pandemic. That’s why we signed today’s amicus brief.

— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 13, 2020

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Chocolate mousse in space is more important than you think
Astronaut Andreas Mogensen with his chocolate mousse aboard the space station.

Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) keep a busy schedule during their six-month stints in orbit. Most of their time is taken up with carrying out scientific research in the unique microgravity conditions that the facility provides, while the occasional spacewalk takes care of upgrades and general maintenance.

The research programs include learning about the best way to grow crops off-Earth and aboard the relatively cramped conditions of the orbital facility, an especially important task if we’re ever to send astronauts on long-duration missions to a lunar base or even to Mars.

Read more
No more GPUs? Here’s what Nvidia’s DLSS 10 could look like
RTX 4070 logo on a graphics card.

The latest version of Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is already a major selling point for some of its best graphics cards, but Nvidia has much bigger plans. According to Bryan Catanzaro, Nvidia's vice president of Applied Deep Learning Research, Nvidia imagines that DLSS 10 would have full neural rendering, bypassing the need for graphics cards to actually render a frame.

During a roundtable discussion hosted by Digital Foundry, Catanzaro delved deeper into what DLSS could evolve into in the future, and what kinds of problems machine learning might be able to tackle in games. We already have DLSS 3, which is capable of generating entire frames -- a huge step up from DLSS 2, which could only generate pixels. Now, Catanzaro said with confidence that the future of gaming lies in neural rendering.

Read more
Spotify using AI to clone and translate podcasters’ voices
spotify app available in windows 10 store

Spotify has unveiled a remarkable new feature powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that translates a podcast into multiple languages using the same voices of those in the show.

It’s been made possible partly by OpenAI’s just-released voice generation technology that needs only a few seconds of listening to replicate a voice.

Read more