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Texas Governor Threatens to Cut Funding to Immigrant ‘Sanctuary Schools’

The announcement came as some students staged a walkout in support of sanctuary campuses.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he will cut funding to public universities in the state that make themselves so-called “sanctuary campuses” for undocumented immigrants Thursday.

Governor Abbott’s announcement is likely a response to student petitions that are asking school administrators in Texas to declare their campuses sanctuaries.

Campus Safety has reported on schools in California that have adjusted their policies on undocumented immigrants in light of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign victory.

Last week, University of California system President Janet Napolitano said school officials would refuse to turn over confidential records to federal immigration officials without a court order or supply information to any national registry based on race, national origin or religion.

On Nov. 15, the Los Angeles Unified School District also said it would refuse to help federal immigration officials and would protect information about immigrant faculty members, family members and students.

Now students at the University of North Texas, Texas State University and Texas Women’s University have created similar petitions, although they have not been adopted by school officials.

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Some of the petitions specifically criticize a proposal Trump made on the campaign trail to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which UC President Napolitano helped create as secretary of Homeland Security under the Obama administration.

Students at UNT and TWU held a campus walkout to show their support for the sanctuary campus idea on the same day as Abbott’s announcement.

“Texas will not tolerate sanctuary campuses or cities,” Abbott tweeted. “I will cut funding for any state campus if it established sanctuary status.”

It is unclear how legal it is for a school district or system to refuse to cooperate with federal officials, particularly public institutions.

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