Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, colleges across the country—and especially in Texas—have been facing pressure from student groups and faculty to make their campuses sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. Petitions with thousands of signatures in support of sanctuary campuses have circulated this week at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Women’s University, and the University of North Texas, and the movement appears to be gaining momentum.
Faculty at A&M scored a meeting with top university officials to discuss the issue, while students at North Texas and Texas Women’s University staged a walkout and marched throughout Denton on Thursday. But Governor Greg Abbott is just not having it. On Thursday, Abbott promised he’d slash funding for any Texas school that becomes a sanctuary campus, according to the Texas Tribune. “Texas will not tolerate sanctuary campuses or cities,” Abbott wrote in a tweet. “I will cut funding for any state campus if it establishes sanctuary status.”
It’s unclear how, exactly, Abbott would follow through on that threat. According to the Huffington Post, Texas’s funding for colleges goes through the state Lege, so Abbott would have to take that route if he plans to cut off the flow of money. That would probably be difficult.
“If the governor is going to follow through with his threat to veto funding to universities, he will have only done so with the acquiescence of the House and the Senate, and I doubt that would ever happen,” State Representative Trey Martinez-Fisher, a Democrat from San Antonio, told the Huffington Post. Abbott made a similar threat earlier this week, claiming on Fox News that he had already cut funding from Texas cities and counties that are considered sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.
But according to the Dallas Morning News, he never actually did such a thing.