CHICAGO - Should students without legal permission to be in the U.S. be protected in so-called sanctuary campuses funded by federal and state funding? That's an issue Illinois' neighbors to the east are considering in their state legislature while one after another, Illinois universities are declaring a shield around their schools.
In Vice President Mike Pence’s home state, campuses including Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame and Ball State University have faced pressure from students and faculty members, though none have declared themselves a sanctuary campus.
Still, lawmakers who argue “government entities” shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which laws to follow are taking steps to proactively bar institutions who accept federal or state dollars from adopting the designation.
A bill from Republican Sens. Mike Young and Mike Delph stipulates that colleges or universities violating the ban would risk having funds withheld by the state’s budget agency. A court could also block a sanctuary policy if a lawsuit is brought.
“Everyone, whether they’re a government entity, a private institution or an individual — we don’t get to figure out what laws we want to follow and which we don’t,” Young, a Republican from Indianapolis, said on the Senate floor.
The measure ultimately cleared the Senate in a 35-15 vote, with six Republicans joining Democrats in opposing it. It now awaits a hearing in a House panel.