The recent passing of Senate Bill 4 in Texas puts a ban on all sanctuary cities within the state. The debate is no longer whether Texas State should be a sanctuary campus, but if we should want it to be. The issue of sanctuaries has become nationally recognized with those who support it being humanitarians and those who oppose it being racist bigots. However, looking at the bigger picture, sanctuary campuses – especially on campuses like Texas State – do not work.
The term “sanctuary campus” used in this column is described as a campus that harbors undocumented immigrants from law enforcement, as well as provides food and shelter to those immigrants. That being said, the economics of a public university such as ours could not support it for significant reasons.
A public university is just that because it receives money from local and federal governments to help support it. Gov. Greg Abbott has made it apparent that any city, or campus, that becomes a sanctuary would lose state funding, and President Trump would most likely follow suit. If the campus lost this funding, the only way it would be able to offset those costs is by raising tuition.
Of course the humanitarian in us says “then we’ll pay the higher tuition,” which is great in theory, except many students are currently only able to attend this school due to government scholarships, grants or loans – myself included. These students would no longer be able to use financial aid to pay tuition, which means less students and an even higher increase in tuition for the students that are able to stay.
Some argue that it is downright inhumane to leave undocumented immigrants—especially elders and families—to fend for themselves for things like shelter, food and safe harbor from law enforcement. Not everyone has this thought process. Rather than calling those who disagree “racist bigots,” we need to stop asking the government to force them to pay for a stranger’s livelihood, as well as their own—which is exactly what becoming a sanctuary campus would cause them to do. By making Texas State a sanctuary campus, we would be forcing students to pay for someone else, even if they do not agree to that. That is the same concept as sanctuary cities, which would raise taxes for all residents, including those in disagreement.
Instead of forcing those who oppose sanctuary campuses to pay, students who feel passionate about helping these people may do so in a more constructive way. For instance, use the money you would spend on higher tuition and donate to a local organization that has the same cause, house these immigrants yourself or help them find access to a nearby shelter.
In September, Senate Bill 4 will be enforced and rather than having students feel frustrated about why Texas State is unable to be a sanctuary campus, I urge them to realize the high price that would accompany being a sanctuary, and instead focus on productive solutions that will benefit the entire Texas State University campus.
– Nellie Perry is a journalism sophomore