GOP lawmaker plans bill targeting 'sanctuary' universities
© Greg Nash

A House GOP lawmaker plans to introduce legislation on Wednesday to punish universities for serving as sanctuaries for students who are illegal immigrants. 

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) said on the House floor that his upcoming legislation would require any entity receiving federal funds, including institutions of higher education, to meet lawful requests by federal immigration authorities. Institutions that refuse to comply would stand to lose all funding they receive from the federal government. 

“Congress has the responsibility to protect the rule of law in our country and to provide for the safety in our citizens. The American people have spoken loudly in this past election that they want federal immigration law enforced. Shame on those universities who take federal money and then promote lawlessness,” Harris said.

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Harris singled out the University of Pennsylvania, whose president recently announced that federal immigration authorities will not be allowed on campus unless they have a warrant. The university will also not share information about undocumented students. 

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann’s move came after calls from students and faculty following the election to establish a sanctuary campus in the same manner as so-called sanctuary cities that adopt policies protecting illegal immigrants from deportation. 

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE, incidentally, graduated from the university in 1968.

Other institutions of higher education, including Columbia University and Wesleyan University, have adopted similar policies.

The House passed legislation last year that would deny federal funds to sanctuary cities after authorities charged in the killing of a San Francisco woman an illegal immigrant with a history of felony convictions and who had been deported several times prior. Democrats blocked the bill’s passage in the Senate and mocked it at the time as the "Donald Trump Act."