Growing up in the Philippines, Andreia Carrillo always liked the stars. It’s what brought her to the United States to study astronomy, and why she desires others to follow in her steps and study the stars.

“Though, we’ll see if that takes place now,” Carrillo stated.

Carrillo is one of the hundreds of thousands of trainees impacted by a recent rule modification issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to no longer allow global students from staying in the U.S. if their university moves classes fully online.

The guideline modification, published Monday, lands as the hazard of the coronavirus pandemic grows throughout the country, requiring some universities to shift to digital-only operations for the fall.

News of the guideline modification captured immigration legal representatives by surprise. The Trump administration stated absolutely nothing more about the policy beyond a tweet from the president: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!,” a decision over which the federal government has little authority. It’s a sharp turnaround from the administration’s position in March– at the height of the pandemic’s spread in the U.S.– allowing trainees to maintain their lawful immigration status even as in-person classes were suspended throughout the country.