Keeping Donald Trump’s base happy

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 14, 11:10 am.
  2. July 14, 6:42 pm:
    • I guess the folks suing the Trump administration over the rule expelling foreign students whose colleges and universities were going online only due to the pandemic[1] had a stronger case than I realized. They’ve retracted the rule.[2]

      Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic.[3]

      I have to say, I’m surprised. It seems to me that usually this administration fights harder than this, counting on the Supreme Court to ultimately uphold their policies. Because you know it’s like those rules on a boat I cited in an blog entry last year on Donald Trump’s epistemology.[4]

  3. July 14, 7:41 pm:
    • My desktop was running painfully slowly, it was time to reboot, so I ended the 6:42 pm update early.
    • Massachusetts is suing over Uber and Lyft driver misclassification.[5]
    • I forgot, there’s a new blog post as of about midday entitled, “Tax time.”
    • The earlier problem with a “check hybrid system” indication returned with a vengeance today, killing the engine. Fortunately my passenger was less than a block from where he was going. Also present, a “check VSC system” indication. The car was willing to start again by the time the tow truck driver got there but I had him tow it to the dealer anyway, while I caught an Uber home (tow truck drivers don’t give stranded motorists rides now).
  4. July 15, 5:18 am:
    • The pushback to the policy [expelling foreign students of universities and colleges that go online only in response to the pandemic] from higher education was immediate and fierce. Within 48 hours, Harvard and MIT had sued to stop the policy, and more than 250 other colleges signed onto amicus briefs in support. Still other institutions, including the Johns Hopkins University and all of California’s public colleges, filed lawsuits in their local courts.

      The opposition did not come from higher education alone. Twenty-one states sued. Cities and counties spoke out against the policy, saying the loss of international students would be an enormous hit to their local economies. So, too, did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organized labor, and some of the country’s largest tech companies, including Google and Facebook.

      To many, the policy change was seen as part of a Trump-administration effort to force colleges and business to reopen, using international students as pawns. In its court filing in the MIT-Harvard case, the government contested that idea, but during a television interview, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of homeland security, acknowledged that a goal of the policy was to “encourage schools to reopen.”[6]

      But higher education still faces a shortage of foreign students, who generally pay higher tuition than U.S. students, exacerbated by Trump administration policies. Students are increasingly going to friendlier countries.[7]

      It’s pretty clear here that the Trump administration was aiming to kill two birds with a single stone: First, the now rescinded policy feeds the xenophobic impulses of Donald Trump’s base, and second, the harm that policy does to institutions and students feeds the anti-intellectual impulses of Trump’s base. The latter impression is reinforced by likely politically-compromised Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that recommends against testing students for COVID-19 when returning to school this fall.[8] One might indeed infer that the Trump administration is trying first to kick students out of the country where it can, and to kill the students, professors, and their families where it can’t.


Lower education

Donald Trump, we know where you are (figure 1):[9]
109233971_3076439809099698_4184193387854969911_o
Fig. 1. Fowl Language Comic by Brian Gordon, posted on Facebook, July 13, 2020, fair use.


Higher education

Not that I’m really able to keep track of lawsuits against a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement rule expelling foreign students enrolled at on-line only colleges flying all over the place, but the lawsuits I now know about are those by 1) Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, supported by over 200 other schools, and in which a judge will supposedly hear arguments for an injunction today,[10] and 2) by the state of Massachusetts, joined by several other states, including Pennsylvania.[11] With COVID-19 case counts spiking around the country,[12] including places where these institutions are physically located,[13] it has to be even less likely the colleges and universities will reopen for in-person classes.[14] But I guess if it makes Donald Trump’s base happy, that’s all that matters.

Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html

John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/

Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, “Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/ice-rule-harvard-international-students-rescinded/2020/07/14/319fdae0-c607-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html

Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author

Carl T. Bergstrom, “The CDC Is Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-CDC-Is-Wrong/249174

Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182


  1. [1]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142; John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/
  2. [2]Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, “Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/ice-rule-harvard-international-students-rescinded/2020/07/14/319fdae0-c607-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html; Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author
  3. [3]Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The captain is always right,” Not Housebroken, September 8, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/08/the-captain-is-always-right/
  5. [5]Tina Bellon, “Massachusetts sues Uber, Lyft over driver status as contractors,” Reuters, July 14, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-lawsuit-massachusetts-idUSKCN24F2OX
  6. [6]Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182
  7. [7]Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182
  8. [8]Carl T. Bergstrom, “The CDC Is Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-CDC-Is-Wrong/249174
  9. [9]Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  10. [10]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142
  11. [11]Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/
  12. [12]Agence France-Presse, “Fauci warns U.S. is “knee-deep” in coronavirus first wave,” CBS News, July 7, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-warns-us-knee-deep-coronavirus-first-wave/; Talal Ansari, “Texas Governor Rolls Back Reopening as U.S. Virus Cases Hit Record,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-06-26-2020-11593159630; CBS News, “U.S. sees another record-breaking day with more than 63,000 coronavirus cases,” July 10, 2020, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-cases-usa-63000-daily-record/; Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández, and Lori Rozsa, “Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/young-people-are-driving-a-spike-in-coronavirus-infections-officials-say/2020/06/27/3654638c-b7b4-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html; Thomas Heath and Hannah Denham, “Dow tumbles 730 points as covid-19 flare-ups force states to push back reopening,” Washington Post, June 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/26/stocks-markets-today-texas-coronavirus/; Jeet Heer, [Twitter thread], Twitter Thread App, July 9, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281071726596521984.html; Chelsea Janes et al., “Surge in virus hospitalizations strains hospitals in several states,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/surge-in-virus-hospitalizations-strains-hospitals-in-several-states/2020/07/08/12855e5e-c135-11ea-864a-0dd31b9d6917_story.html; Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump-leading-the-way-americas-coronavirus-failures-exposed-by-record-surge-in-new-infections/2020/06/27/bd15aea2-b7c4-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html; Lisa Shumaker and Brendan O’Brien, “Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates,” Reuters, June 16, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN23N32O; Meg Wagner et al., “Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening as cases rise,” Cable News Network, June 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/covid-19-school-work-reopening-testimony-06-30-20/h_cc7cf09eae87064e72f75af30984acd3
  13. [13]Audrey Williams June, “Over 450 Colleges Are in Coronavirus Hot Spots,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Over-450-Colleges-Are-in/249156
  14. [14]Robert Kelchen, “Colleges Aren’t Reopening in the Fall,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Aren-t-Reopening-in/248803

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