Gov. Abbott will cut funding to any Texas ‘sanctuary’ college

Students call for a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants at Texas State University (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)
Students call for a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants at Texas State University (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned he will cut funding to any state college campus that establishes sanctuary status.

Last week, a petition at Texas State University called for a sanctuary status on campus to protect students and staff who are undocumented immigrants. The governor responded to a tweet Thursday afternoon asking if he would cut off funding to “sanctuary campuses” following news of the petition at Texas State.

“Texas will not tolerate sanctuary campuses or cities,” he replied. “I will cut funding for any state campus if it establishes sanctuary status #tcot” (top conservatives on Twitter).

The petition signed by Texas State students asks the university to guarantee students privacy by refusing to release information regarding the immigration status of students, staff or university community members. It also asks to bolster existing policies to address and denounce hostility and hate speech on campus, and allow those students who have been arrested or deported to be provided arrangements for the online continuation of their courses so they can complete their degree.

In a statement Thursday, Texas State said they decided prior to the governor’s post that the university would not declare itself a sanctuary campus because of legal ramifications.

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, flyers circulation around Texas State’s campus calling for vigilante squads to tar and feather university leaders. The university considered the flyers to be criminal activity.

The University of Texas at Austin’s international student and scholar services defines an undocumented immigrant as someone who entered the U.S. without inspection or legal permission or through the use of false papers. The university notes many undocumented students, who are brought into the country at a very young age, find out about their lack of legal status when they are in high school.

UT Austin provides advocates and resources for undocumented students. However, the university says only about 5-10 percent of undocumented young people who graduate from high school go on to college, compared with about 75 percent of their classmates.