Texas Gov. Greg Abbot says the state will cut off funding to any public school that declares itself a “sanctuary campus” for illegal immigrants.
Abbot made the announcement Thursday via Twitter, in response to a petition effort in the state by students seeking to have their universities protect illegal immigrants. Abbott made it clear such a move wouldn’t fly in Texas.
Following Donald Trump’s election victory, thousands of students around the country held classroom walkouts in which they called on administrators to declare their campuses havens for illegal immigrants. Several public colleges have already answered the call, including the University of California and California State University. Generally, these campuses have promised that their police forces won’t cooperate with any federal efforts to enforce immigration law, and that student records won’t be turned over to the government without a specific court order. Some schools have also pledged to ban immigration enforcement officials from campus unless they possess a warrant.
It isn’t clear how much funding Abbott could personally cut off, without obtaining support from the state legislature. Abbott previously pledged to ban sanctuary cities in Texas, and claims he has cut some state funding to them, but The Dallas Morning News disputes that claim, saying state money has yet to be truly cut off. If Abbott needs the legislature’s backing, he will have to wait until the upcoming 2017 legislative session.