Coronavirus doesn’t check immigration documents, bloodlines, or native language. People born in the United States, people who came here legally, and people who were brought as undocumented children are all equally vulnerable to the pandemic. Still, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, pushed a rule that would have limited aid in the pandemic to those with sufficient documents. Now the U.S. judicial system has responded, stopping the discriminatory regulation.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that DeVos had issued a rule which would prevent certain students from receiving the grant money Congress had set side for that purpose. These would include students with minor drug convictions or defaulted student loans. It would also shut out international students, and undocumented students.
Describing the rule, DeVos mentioned specifically supporting “U.S. students” and “America’s students.” According to Jezebel, the Department of Education even said in a statement that the rule was intended to “help to ensure taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief money…does not go to foreign nationals, non-citizens…” It was quickly condemned, with one student advocacy group’s director describing it as “pursuit of the administration’s xenophobic policy agenda.”
However, the judicial system was quick to block the limitation. The Washington State Attorney General’s office tweeted a victory.
#BREAKING Today we beat Betsy DeVos in court. A Spokane federal judge blocked the Trump Administration's unlawful attempt to deprive thousands of Washington college students critical aid Congress intended for them. We're now 29-1 vs. the Administration. More to come.
— Washington State Attorney General (@AGOWA) June 12, 2020
As the AG’s office said, it’s not the first loss in court for Betsy DeVos’ Dept. of Ed. To name just a few, Politico reported last March that a court declared a delay in an Obama-era rule about reporting racial disparities was illegal, as well as a delay in implementing student loan policies that had also been signed under Obama. A rule the Trump administration attempted to implement limiting loan forgiveness to defrauded students was also blocked.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com