Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill) has circulated a co-sponsorship memo for legislation he intends to officially introduce in January that would prohibit any institution of higher education in Pennsylvania that establishes itself as a “sanctuary campus” from receiving appropriations from the Commonwealth.
He has received bipartisan support for this proposal.
“The intent of this bill is very simple, it just requires universities or colleges in the state of Pennsylvania to comply with federal law,” Rep. Knowles said. “If they choose to not comply, they will forfeit their state funding. Go by the rules or you don’t get the money. We cannot begin to select which laws we want to obey, and which laws we want to ignore and break.”
“Sanctuary campuses” exist when the school administration adopts policies to refuse to allow federal authorities on campus without a warrant; direct their campus law enforcement not to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with federal authorities regarding undocumented individuals on campus; or, refuse to share information about undocumented students with federal agencies unless presented with some form of legal process.
“By declaring themselves ‘Sanctuary Campuses,’ these institutions of higher learning are blatantly disregarding federal law, thumbing their noses at the taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” Rep. Knowles said. “Turning a blind eye to the issue of illegal immigrants on campuses for the sake of making some kind of political statement on this nation’s immigration policy is unconscionable.”
Click Here for audio of comments by Rep. Knowles.