Holcomb faces deadline on ‘sanctuary campus’ bill

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has just one day left to decide whether he will sign a controversial bill that would prohibit Indiana colleges and universities from adopting “sanctuary campus” policies.

The deadline for action on Senate Enrolled Act 423, authored by Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, is Tuesday, and the measure has been on Holcomb’s desk since April 25. In its final form, SEA 432 holds that “a governmental body or a postsecondary educational institution may not limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.”

Specifically, the language of SEA 423 prohibits those institutions from restricting their employees from communicating or cooperating with federal officials, sending or receiving information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, maintaining information as to a person’s citizenship or immigration status, or exchanging information about a person’s immigration status with federal, state or local government entities. If a college or university violates SEA 423, the bill allows Indiana residents to bring an action to compel the school to comply and also allows a court to enjoin the violation.

The final form of SEA 423 passed by the General Assembly is notably different than the version Young first introduced in the Senate. That version, which included regulations such as a prohibition against post-secondary institutions denying the Department of Homeland Security access to their campuses, was faced with widespread criticism from students, college faculty and immigration law experts, who said the measure seemed to be a solution in search of a problem. Young defended his bill, saying it was meant to bring colleges and universities into compliance with existing state law that prohibits other governmental entities from establishing “sanctuary city” policies. http://www.theindianalawyer.com/bill-prohibiting-sanctuary-campuses-moves-to-indiana-house/PARAMS/article/42957

During a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee in March, Rep. Woody Burton, R-Whiteland, who sponsored SEA 423 on the House side, said he told Young that the original version of his bill would not pass muster, so the legislators began consulting with legal experts and state higher education officials to develop a bill that would ease the widespread concerns. The version of the bill presented to the House stripped SEA 423 of its various provisions and regulations. h

The Indiana House passed Young’s measure 72-26, and the Senate passed the amended version with a vote of 38-10.

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