U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) blistered President Donald Trump (R) after cancelling a plan to deport international students enrolled in only virtual classes, exclaiming that “this is the most xenophobic administration I’ve ever dealt with.”
“First of all, this is the most xenophobic administration I’ve ever dealt with in all my years of Congress,” Menendez, a congressman between 1993 and 2006 before being elected to the Senate, said during an unrelated press conference about CARES Act funding in Hoboken.
“And international students are both a credible resource to our colleges and universities, they’re also one of the greatest efforts to promote democracy in the world. When students come here to the United States and learn at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, at Princeton, and all our other great schools – they not only get an education, they understand the American way of life.”
New Jersey’s senior senator took aim at the president after HCV asked how he felt about the Trump administration’s decision to rescind a plan that would have prevented the U.S. Department of State from issuing visas to students registered strictly for online only classes in the fall, as Politico reported.
Menendez gave no credit for stopping the initiative, noting that lawsuits against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were filed by 17 states and several universities already.
“The reality is it is incredibly important and we will be vigilant so that if the administration chooses to do it again, I’m very happy to see that 17 states – and a host of universities – are ready to take this administration to court: I think that they recognized they would lose.”
Yesterday, the federal government agreed to withdraw the aforementioned July 6th directive, though there was no formal announcement that the plan would be halted.
Instead, it came to light during a court hearing involving ICE and DHS in their case against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Menendez has been an outspoken critic of Trump, especially on immigration issues, since he was elected in 2016, with the president notably endorsing unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate Bob Hugin – Menendez’s challenger – in 2018.