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How international students became a White House target during the coronavirus pandemic

July was a whirlwind for international students in the United States.

On July 6, 2020,the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also known as ICE, announced that foreign students would have to leave the country if their colleges and universities went online-only for the fall semester because of the coronavirus pandemic. A little over a week later the decision was reversed after Harvard University and MIT and more than 200 universities, tech companies and states filed a lawsuit against the new foreign student regulations. 

More than 1 million international students come to the United States each year, according to the Institute of International Education. They also contributed almost $45 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018 through spending on retail, dining and transportation.

U.S. colleges and universities rely heavily on foreign students for tuition revenue and to fill research roles, and will have to reevaluate their programs if the trend continues.

Watch the video above to find out what fewer international students could mean for the U.S. economy. 

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