Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced new legislation that would protect and prioritize students by prohibiting K–12 schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding from being used as shelters to house illegal aliens.
The proposed bill comes on the back of the Schools Not Shelters Act, which passed the House in July.
“The invasion at our southern border is straining local services, overwhelming hospitals, and overcrowding schools. To make matters worse, leftist sanctuary cities are even using K-12 schools and college campuses as housing for illegal aliens,” Mr. Cruz said in a press release on Sept. 28.
“Instead of addressing the learning loss caused by Democrat COVID lockdowns, sanctuary cities are focused on diverting resources from students to house illegal aliens,” Mr. Cruz added. “Students are losing access to gyms, dorms, and other school facilities in order to accommodate illegal aliens. Housing unvetted, potentially dangerous illegal aliens in schools is a recipe for disaster.”
Mr. Cruz said students should be prioritized and feel safe at school. Some fellow GOP senators and representatives also weighed in on the proposed legislation.
“As the parent of four children, I agree and share the concerns of mothers and fathers who have spoken out against housing migrants in schools,” according to Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.).
“The bill affirms that schools are places for academics, athletics, community services, and places where children like mine receive vital therapy,” Mr. Molinaro added. “They are not migrant shelters.”
According to Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), the border crisis has put an unprecedented strain on the country’s resources.
“Schoolchildren should not bear the brunt Joe Biden’s open border policies. That’s why I’m proud to support Senator Cruz’s bill to stop our schools from turning into shelters for illegal immigrants,” he said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also commented on the issue, saying public schools are no place for illegal immigrants.
“Our legislation will ensure federally funded schools and universities remain centers of learning for American children, not overflow housing facilities for illegal immigrants,” he said.
The Schools Not Shelters Act was cosponsored by Mr. Budd and Mr. Cotton, as well as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and passed the House with bipartisan support after being introduced in June.
It makes exceptions only for when ‘the housing is a short-term measure in response to specified disasters including fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.’
Mr. Cruz further elaborated on the issue in the press release, sharply criticizing New York’s Democratic governance for resorting to using public schools to house illegal aliens rather than demanding that President Biden secure the country.
“Using schools to house illegal aliens poses a significant safety risk to schoolchildren, compromises schools’ ability to secure their own campuses, and takes away resources from students,” according to the release.
Since spring of 2022, New York has seen an influx of well over 100,000 illegal immigrants, according to the National Review.
The recent surge has prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to deploy additional members of the state’s National Guard to cope with the crisis, which New York mayor Eric Adams has warned will destroy the city if left unchecked.
Over 12,000 illegal aliens with criminal convictions have been intercepted by Border Patrol in the last year. According to Cruz, many of whom have likely been released into the country.