Top American universities, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have instantly filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston asking for an emergency temporary restraining order on the new directive issued by the government on Monday regarding the cancellation of on-campus classes offered to International students.

“We will pursue this case vigorously so that our international students - and international students at institutions across the country - can continue their studies without the threat of deportation,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in a statement addressed to the Harvard community.

Both universities have resorted to sue the Trump administration on terms of seeking to block a new rule that would place blockade on opportunities offered to foreign students from remaining in the United States if their universities move all courses online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit, filed by two of the most elite U.S. universities, is the first-ever to challenge any such administration order which otherwise would lead tens of thousands of foreign students to forcibly leave the country if their educational institutions switch fully to remote learning.

Harvard had announced it would hold all classes online in the coming fall term.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement the state was also planning to sue over the rule, which she called “cruel” and “illegal.”

Her office said it was still working out the details of any potential legal action but that it had been in touch with Harvard and other major colleges and universities in the state to “support their efforts to protect students.”

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.