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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "Bill prohibiting 'sanctuary universities' moves forward in Indiana Senate"

An ILB post from April 10, 2013 begins (quoting a story from the Kokomo Tribune):

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee voted 8-4 in favor of a bill that would partially roll back a 2011 law banning undocumented students who grew up in Indiana from accessing the lower in-state tuition rate at the state’s public universities. The 2011 law, which requires they pay the more expensive out-of-state rate, led to hundreds of students dropping out.

The version of Senate Bill 207 that passed out of the House committee only covers the students who were enrolled in college when the ban went into effect two years ago.

But Republican bill backers want to expand the legislation’s language to cover more students. With support from Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, they plan to introduce an amendment to do so when the bill comes up for debate in the full House.

“It really comes down to this: every child in our state needs the opportunity to have an education, “ said state Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, a Republican from Syracuse and the House sponsor of Senate Bill 207.

A July 28, 2013 story provides some follow-up.

Now, in the 2017 General Assembly, the question appears to be not how much additional tuition to charge undocumented immigrants, but whether they may attend Indiana schools at all.

Kaitlin L. Lange of the Evansville Courier & Press reports, in a story reprinted in the Indiana Economic Digest:

An Indiana Senate committee approved a measure Tuesday to make “sanctuary universities” illegal in Indiana — a move that would prohibit universities from letting undocumented immigrants attend school, with some exceptions.

Those who were protected under former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) will still be allowed at universities under House Bill 423 because they were brought into the country as children. But if President Trump were to repeal that program, Indiana universities would no longer be able to allow any undocumented immigrants to attend universities.

The bill’s passage through committee comes just a day after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent a memo implementing Trump’s plans to crack down on undocumented immigrants. The memo called for government agents to identify any undocumented immigrant for deportation, with a focus on those who’ve committed crimes.

Trump left DACA untouched for now. Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said Tuesday that those deportation protections for about 750,000 undocumented immigrants would continue to be honored.

If Trump repeals DACA, bill author Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, said they would have to re-examine the state’s policies.

Still, some opponents of the Indiana Senate bill worry the legislation would just cause worry for immigrants already concerned with Trump’s policy promises on immigration. * * *

The legislation, if it passes in the House and Senate, would only apply to the seven state universities, but a couple of senators suggested extending the measure to private universities on the Senate floor with amendments.

While definitions on “sanctuary universities” can vary slightly, this legislation prohibits universities from not sharing immigration status of students with government officials, maintains that it is illegal for undocumented students to attend universities and prohibits schools from offering instate benefits to these students. Young said the bill has nothing to do with immigration policy; it just requires universities to comply with state and federal government. He maintained that this bill was an expansion of previous legislation that outlawed sanctuary cities. * * *

Some senators said the bill was unnecessary because of the lack of sanctuary schools in the state and were concerned it would only lead to negative perceptions about what the legislature was trying to accomplish.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 23, 2017 09:09 AM
Posted to Indiana Government