It was one of the most contentious pieces of legislation of the 2017 session but it is a piece of legislation no more. Governor Deal has signed into law the bill which revokes state funding for colleges and universities that provide safe havens for illegal immigrants.
The bill came on the heels of publicity regarding Emory’s creating a sanctuary city-like environment on campus, where students would be protected from federal authorities seeking to detain and deport those here illegally. Pundits initially considered it just a threat and even the AJC gave it a 25% chance of passing.
But with State Representative Earl Ehrhart at the helm, and several powerful co-sponsors, the threat became a reality.
This isn’t the first time there were threats of funding revocation. Ehrhart previously led the charge on investigations and tribunals for those facing sexual assault allegations on campus and threatened to pull funding for colleges who didn’t provide due process under the law.
And on the federal level, just Thursday, Senator Rand Paul said Congress should pull funding on universities that just “one set of speech.” He was referring to the U.C. Berkeley debacle with Ann Coulter. Berekely was also threatened by Trump in February after the Milo incident.
With money at risk, schools are now working around official sanctuary campuses and instead offering resources, much like Agnes Scott College, which publicly stated the college will help students who have been granted temporary protection from deportation.
Funding revocation will undoubtably continue to be held over the heads of those pushing politics to the forefront of education. As always, the government giveth, and the government taketh away.