The prestigious American universities Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued US President Donald Trump on Wednesday because he wants to expel international students who only attend lectures because of the corona virus. That writes The New York Times.

The universities in the US state of Massachusetts call the measure cruel and reckless. "Massachusetts is home to thousands of international students who should not be afraid of being deported or putting their health or safety at risk in order to continue their education," said the Attorney General assisting the schools.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday that international students in the United States should leave the country if their school only offers virtual classes after the summer break. These are foreign students who are allowed to stay and study in the US by means of a student visa, a so-called F-1 or M-1 visa.

According to the universities, the measure is politically motivated. By threatening eviction, Trump would pressure schools to reopen after the summer.

Several universities, including Harvard University, announced this week that they will offer virtually all lectures in the coming academic school year. MIT will partly work with smaller classes, but the majority of the lectures will also be held online.

In 39 of the 50 US states, the number of infections with the COVID-19 virus has increased at a record rate in recent weeks. In total, more than three million infections have now been registered in the country. Despite this, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Monday that he wants American schools to open their doors again after the summer.