By Shelby Mullis
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana colleges and universities could soon be prohibited from declaring themselves a “sanctuary campus” if Gov. Eric Holcomb signs one Senate bill into law.
Indianapolis Republican Sen. Michael Young’s legislation is an addition to a law, which took effect in 2011 that prohibits sanctuary cities. A sanctuary city is one that declares it will not go after undocumented immigrants unless required to do so for criminal reasons.
Ball State University students Mari Lynnecruz, Alex _ and Erika Espinoza hold a homemade banner that reads, “Education not deportation.” The students tried to hold the banner during a Corrections and Criminal Law Committee hearing where Senate Bill 423 was debated earlier this year. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com
Senate Bill 423 goes one step further to prevent Indiana’s state- and federal-funded public and private colleges and universities from declaring themselves a “sanctuary campus.”
State- and federal-funded colleges and universities would be required, under the bill, to disclose information regarding a student’s citizenship status if requested by the local, state or federal government.
But Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, worries for the DREAMer students, who came to the United States as children and have lived here for a majority of their lives, attending schools and higher learning institutions across the state.
Former President Barack Obama signed an executive order protecting students who came to the United States as small children of parents who entered illegally.
“That is a concern,” Lanane said. “Something about this bill sort of concerns me. Quite frankly makes me a little sad.”
Lanane said he fears that if the executive order is changed by the current presidential administration, these young adults will lose their protections.
Young said Indiana would not be able to protect these students from the federal government if the executive order did change.
If the bill becomes law and a campus violates it, the State Budget Agency is permitted to withhold state funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the institution.
SB 423 passed the Senate 38-10 Tuesday. It will now head to the governor’s desk for consideration.
Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.