Once the Pennsylvania general assembly opened its new session, many Republican lawmakers did what they have done for years: introduce bills aimed at scaring immigrants. Most of them never pass or even get out of committee, but their introduction does inform Pennsylvanians that lawmakers have their sights set on targeting undocumented immigrants.
And the start of the 2017 session showcased a doozy. HB 14 is a bill that proposes that law-enforcement personnel and employees of colleges and universities assist in immigration enforcement, and that would cut state funding for institutions that tell their employees not to communicate with federal immigration officers. Currently, any person in the U.S. can call in tips to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department. But Antonia Domingo, of Pittsburgh’s Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, says the bill “undercuts trust” between university officials and immigrant students, because many immigrant students are on student visas and some are undocumented.