Universities and colleges have reacted to President Donald Trump’s election by declaring their campuses safe zones from immigration authorities. The funding battle over sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions has intensified and expanded to “sanctuary campuses.”
Representatives in the U.S. Congress are fighting back, and state governments are gearing up for fights.
After the President’s election in November, colleges and universities started declaring their educational institutions to be “sanctuary campuses” and “safe spaces” for illegal aliens, and they have been issuing resolutions that would actually prohibit campus police from cooperating with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Students at Sanford University in November were one of the first to march and demand that the university be used as a shelter for illegal aliens facing deportation, reported Breitbart News.
“The controversy has only heightened with Trump’s election,” Baltimore County (Maryland) Executive Kevin Kamenetz said during an interview on Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson Sunday. “There have been demonstrations at more than a dozen colleges and universities. At least nine of them have declared themselves to be sanctuary campuses — promising various levels of non-cooperation with U.S. authorities to protect their illegal immigrant students.”
Breitbart Texas reported on January 3rd that Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) introduced the “Federal Immigration Law Compliance Act of 2016” (FILCA). He did so along with co-sponsors “from California to New York, to Florida,” according to his website.
Harris’ bill prohibits any entity from receiving federal funding that “does not comply with a lawful request for information or detainment of an alien made by an officer or employee of the Federal government who is charged with enforcement of the immigration laws from receiving additional funding.” If passed, the law would apply to any entity, including institutions of higher learning. These institutions would be forced to comply with all lawful requests made by ICE or forego federal funding.
“Congress has the responsibility to protect the rule of law in our country and provide for the safety of our citizens. We need to focus on protecting American citizens and those who are in this country legally, instead of providing shelter for those who have violated our immigration law and entered this country illegally,” Rep. Harris said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. According to the Congressman, his bill would explicitly authorize “federal immigration authorities to make requests for information regarding illegal immigrants of any institution or entity receiving federal funds.”
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) recently introduced legislation that would remove billions in federal funding from universities unless they cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to keep tabs on which institutions of higher education were creating an immigration fortress for illegal immigrants. Federal funds for financial aid and loans for students would no longer be available. Hunter is the congressman who, as reported by Breitbart News, personally took down a painting being displayed in the Capitol complex depicting police officers as pigs violating the civil rights of minorities and blacks in Ferguson, Missouri.
The California congressman filed a bill in December that would take away Title IV funding from universities and colleges that provide in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Duncan’s No Funding for Sanctuary Campuses Act removes federal funding from any college or university that gives a taxpayer-supported public benefit of in-state tuition. “It is the sense of the Congress that providing the public benefit of in-state tuition to an alien who lacks lawful immigration status in the United States creates an incentive for illegal immigration and encourages and induces aliens to come to, enter,” the bill expressly states.
The responsive actions to the sanctuary policy battle by the congressmen and others follow action by a Texas representative, John Culberson (R-Houston), who worked with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to enforce existing law. The U.S. law requires “100 percent” compliance with federal immigration requests sent to state and local law enforcement jurisdictions, Breitbart Texas reported in November. “Sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions will now have to choose between protecting illegal aliens and receiving federal law enforcement grants,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas at the time.
In early January, Pennsylvania Representative Lou Barletta introduced a bill which would defund sanctuary jurisdictions that protect illegal immigrants by not cooperating with immigration officials. Barletta told Breitbart Texas in an interview this past week, “Not one cent. These mayors, sheriffs, and state leaders are thumbing their noses at federal immigration law. The only way to stop them is to hit them in their pocketbooks.”
State officials are also taking aim at sanctuary policies. In the Lone Star State, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to cut funds for any sanctuary city or campus. Moreover, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price, “A showdown is looming in the Texas Legislature over in-state tuition benefits for the children of illegal immigrants as the two top leaders of the state’s legislative bodies are at odds on the issue.” The speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) believes the current law allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants is “perfectly acceptable.” The Lieutenant Governor, who presides over the Texas Senate, strongly opposes the law. Moreover, Texas State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) pre-filed a bill in November that would require local governments in the state to uphold current immigration laws.