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Ohio senator wants to stop ‘sanctuary cities’ within higher ed

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Sen. J.D. Vance believes college and university leaders want their campuses to be safe havens for people living in or entering the country illegally.

He says the institutions violate federal law when those people get hired.

Vance wants to stop the practice by requiring any college or university that receives federal funds or student aid to use the E-Verify Program. He also wants the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security to monitor compliance with immigration law.

“Left-wing college administrators want to transform their campuses into sanctuary cities,” the first-term Republican senator said. “Their latest scheme at the University of California is the most lawless yet: ignore federal law and hire illegal immigrants. Our legislation would put this madness to an end. If universities want to receive federal funding, they have to abide by federal immigration law and participate in E-Verify. We cannot let American tax dollars fund illegal wages.”

In late January, the Los Angeles Times reported that the University of California regents decided against hiring immigrants without legal work authorization.

Vance, along with Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks, however, introduced the College Employment Accountability Act. It would stop federal taxpayer money from going to universities that hire people living in or entering the country illegally.

The two say hiring immigrants without work authorization would violate the Immigrant Reform and Control Act of 1986.

“American universities receive tens of billions of dollars in federal funds every year,” Banks said. “Ensuring they’re not violating the law, employing illegal aliens, and driving down wages for American workers, is the least we can do.”

Earlier this month, an Ohio lawmaker testified on behalf of his bill to require certain employers to verify the legal status of employees by using the federal I-9 form and getting confirmation of employment eligibility.

Rep. Scott Wiggan, R-Wayne County, said it could help stop human trafficking.

“Particularly in our current high-demand labor market, there are far too many instances of noncitizens and minors being taken advantage of – an illegal arrangement between an employer and an employee should be called what it actually is let’s call it – its human trafficking and it needs to stop,” Wiggam recently told the House Commerce and Labor Committee.

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