Since President Trump first took office in 2017, the number of sanctuary jurisdictions has grown exponentially. There were 338 sanctuary jurisdictions when President Obama left office just three years ago. Now there are more than 500 cities, states, and counties across the United States that have adopted some form of sanctuary for illegal aliens. According to a report released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2018, “about half of all Americans now live under sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement.”
College campuses, many of which operate as individual cities with their own police force, have also decided to embrace the activist movement and resist the enforcement of American immigration laws. Late last month, Michigan State University (MSU) became the latest addition to the list of sanctuary campuses. The university will likely receive little pushback from its home city of East Lansing which first declared itself a sanctuary city back in 2017.
In a January 24 memo, MSU’s Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Paulette Granberry Russell, announced the launch of a “new website that will provide information and resources for undocumented students, refugees and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.” The memo left no doubt that university officials intend to help illegal aliens continue breaking the law, bluntly stating “our goal is to reduce apprehension.”
Offering tuition assistance and shelter from law enforcement to students here unlawfully not only incentivizes illegal immigration, it also takes money away from disadvantaged U.S. citizens and lawful migrants who compete with illegal aliens for college seats and financial aid.
It’s also important to keep in mind that providing illegal aliens with a college education costs law-abiding Americans an enormous amount of money. In our 2017 report The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers, FAIR noted that the nationwide cost of providing illegal immigrants with in-state tuition amounted to approximately $1.04 billion. Offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens, without making that same benefit available to out-of-state U.S. citizens, violates a provision of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. However, a loophole in that law, that Congress refuses to close, has allowed 11 states to do it anyway.
Immigration laws exist to protect the vital interests of American citizens, and leaders at all levels of government must reconsider their inclinations to roll out the welcome mat for people who violate our immigration laws. Universities that shield illegal aliens from federal law enforcement should not be permitted to do so with federal funds. And until they are held responsible for protecting law breakers at the expense of U.S. citizens, it seems inevitable that more colleges will take Michigan State’s lead and declare themselves “sanctuary campuses.”