Harvard and MIT are suing over the Trump administration's student immigration ruling

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/09/harvard-and-mit-are-suing-over.html


Well, the population of some parts of this country is getting too smart. They’re starting to use “critical thinking” which means they won’t vote R again. Best shut that down.


My answer as a school admin would be: offer one section of a class no one ever takes as “in person.” The rest are all online.

Hey, it said schools that are only going to be ENTIRELY online! We’re clearly not as you can see (waves in vague direction of empty classroom where Political Science 302: the tax collectors of the Byzantine Empire is being taught).

(note: the first one of you that says you would totally take that class will get a punch in the mouth, I swear… okay, fine, I’d probably take it, too, it could be cool).


Post-graduate studies and research are heavily dependent on foreign students. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty from everyone involved about visas and whether people will be able to return to their studies or not. Of course the fear and uncertainty is the point; the White House has applied the same “self deportation” idea of making life as miserable as possible until people leave and don’t come back to academic immigration.
I expect many other schools to join in this fight. I certainly hope so


Schools are already implementing a version of this–I know of at least a couple of schools (and I’m sure most are doing it at this point) that are creating individual, 1 credit classes that will meet in person “occasionally.” Because the edict is written so sloppily, it’s not terribly difficult to circumvent it turns out.

What I think is extra maddening about all this is the idiocy of doing something that makes it more difficult for foreign students, who almost without exception are paying sticker price on tuition and on average are pumping significantly more than the typical domestic student into the economy. Good lord, with the shape our economy is in, we should be begging anyone who wants to come to this country and spend a shitload of money to do it.


The story of my life. I think of a clever idea, and I’m about 63rd to the table with it. But I agree with you 100%. These folks are willing to come here, spend their money, and contribute to our economy. And Drumpf wants to keep them OUT, because of some shitty idea that opening schools is what will get him elected and not (checks notes) “the economic conditions which have been largely responsible for wins and losses in roughly 95% of our previous elections.”


Does anybody find the administration’s recent particular focus on trying to force schools and colleges to reopen suspicious? Hear me out:

The first wave of coronavirus in the U.S. killed a lot of elderly folks, but it also killed a lot of minorities–that is, people who would be less likely to vote for him, increasing his electoral chances slightly. I think that’s also part of the reason he’s didn’t treat the virus as a serious problem for months. After all, it mostly wasn’t killing HIS kind of Americans, just the brown kind and the kind that live in cities.

But due to his doubling down on anti-mask, freedumb, covidiot policies, the virus is now spreading among the people most likely to vote for him.

How to balance that out? Make sure it spreads to the people who value education and attend college. Couple that with his own disdain for pointy-headed elites and their “science” and “knowledge” and “facts” based in “reality,” and I think it’s plausible we’re seeing the Trump administration making a deliberate effort to spread coronavirus and kill as many as possible of a particular subset of Americans.


A friend of mine who teaches psychology at a local university is finalizing her syllabus for “Fuck ICE: The Abnormal Psychology of White Supremacist Authoritarian Enforcement Agencies.” I believe the syllabus consists mostly of the different varieties of beer the attendees will consume, while sitting, socially distanced, on the university’s beautiful quad.


It’s not just that. These policies also keep potential immigrants away in the first place. When I was looking around for PhD positions the US wasn’t even on my radar for this reason (but also others such as healthcare and a physical and methodological distance from the object of my study).

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Or worse, he knows his chances for reelection are slim, while his chances of crippling legal actions grow large, so he’s determined that if can’t win he’s going to just destroy the US (regardless of party affiliation) on the way out.

My take remains he thinks that forcing everyone back into classrooms is what will kick start the economy. It puts a number of folks back to work immediately, gets kids out of the house so parents can go back to work, and will basically require every state to fully open back up. It’s all about the economics, and given that Fox news is now parroting this line, clearly some conservative economic figures must think its so.

Money over lives. Every. Time. The GOP has built a new feudal system for us, and it requires that we keep working so the nouveau riche can keep jetting off on exotic vacations. They will never see an economy has healthy unless there is unlimited growth of wealth for those at the top, and the majority of the people get whatever crumbs are left.


I think you might be giving too much thought to this - far more than Trump does. IMO, Trump simply believes that he can bully the virus away like he does everything else. He DESPERATELY wants the economy back to normal and he’s going to push and pull every button and lever he can find to make that happen, The problem is the virus doesn’t care and just keeps infecting regardless.


This is actually the worst part of it all. He’s not going to “push and pull every button and lever” as the way to do that would be to do the things that actually help deal with the virus, and then the economy would work itself out.

Doing that would admit that he was wrong when he ignored it in the first place. Or, it would mean helping people he doesn’t like. For someone who has pivoted multiple times, completely changed and then pretend they always thought that way, this is extra ridiculous.

I assume that it’s helping people he doesn’t like that’s the real problem. There’s no other way around it in a pandemic, everyone is helped or everyone suffers. I think that’s the real issue. He (and his devoted cult) would rather hurt themselves if it hurts people they don’t like than help people they don’t like even if that helps them too.

It’s f*$king depressing. :frowning:


I agree. I should have been more clear that my “push and pull every button and lever” was about reopening the economy, not addressing the disease or keeping people healthy.


I literally know someone who holds a doctorate in the history of this period and could probably teach this class - assuming the Byzantine era had tax collectors. I assume so? I’ll ask next time I see them.


I knew almost as soon as I finished typing it that someone here would know someone or something about the Byzantine empire, and probably their tax laws. I should have picked something far more boring and esoteric. Rock collecting for the used car showroom manager perhaps.

IIRC the Department of Education will withhold federal funds from schools that refuse to reopen. Someone I follow on Twitter retweeted a thread with the hypothesis that Betsy DeVos aims to accelerate the destruction of public education by driving middle class parents into moving their children to private, for profit online schools. Going to school will be so dangerous that anyone who can afford to give their children an alternative will do so.

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Oh boy, did they ever!

There’s a reason we are referring to complicated administrative structures as ‘byzantine’.


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