SAN DIEGO – San Diego Rep. Duncan Hunter is proposing legislation that would cut federal student aid to colleges and universities that refuse to help identify undocumented students.
Hunter did not return calls from FOX 5 requesting an interview, but his office has said that scholarship money would be better spent at campuses that don't accept undocumented students. Hunter's bill targets colleges and universities that refuse to share the immigration status of people on campus with federal agencies and decline to detain students who are living in the country illegally. A school can also qualify as a "sanctuary campus" if it offers in-state tuition to a student who is in the U.S. illegally.
"The basic goal of this is to find people who are undocumented in the country with the goal of moving them out of public funding but also moving them out of the country," said FOX 5 political analyst Carl Luna.
Hunter has also said that the state of California should cancel aid to students who are in the country illegally rather than reduce scholarship programs aimed at helping immigrant families.
University of California trustees have said that they will not cooperate with immigration agencies and will not provide any personal information on students without a warrant.
UC San Diego professor Nathan Fletcher said many of his students are frightened by the talk about a crackdown on undocumented students.
"What we're seeing is an attempt to, I believe, destroy the very fabric of what makes us strong," Fletcher told FOX 5. "Is an agent going to knock on my door and deport me for a decision my parents made decades ago?"