In an era marked by tumultuous debates on immigration, the GOP-led House of Representatives has landed a firm jab at the Biden administration’s lax border policies. The House has passed significant legislation, the Schools Not Shelters Act, which aims to prohibit the use of public American schools as temporary residences for illegal immigrants.
The vote took place amid increasing concerns voiced by conservatives that illegal immigration, exacerbated under the Biden administration, threatens our communities and our schools’ sanctity.
This President and the Democrats are blatantly disrespecting our immigration laws and now our school children are paying the price for it. It's time to pass the Schools Not Shelters Act. pic.twitter.com/6gLiEJLzPg
— Congressman Bob Good (@RepBobGood) July 19, 2023
Despite facing stern opposition from the White House, the Schools Not Shelters Act managed to secure a 222-201 vote in the House, including a small number of Democrats. Critics argue the act subverts local control, creating an unwelcome precedent of federal interference in managing state and municipal educational facilities.
However, proponents of the bill remain undeterred, asserting that the act merely seeks to uphold the primary function of schools: education. As Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) succinctly noted, the rise in migrants stems directly from President Biden’s hasty decisions on immigration and misinterpretations of shelter laws by local officials like New York City Mayor Adams.
The notable conservatives who support the bill, including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), echo these sentiments. “Housing illegal immigrants in schools is unacceptable and irresponsible. House Democrats are doing everything in their power to worsen the crisis at our borders,” Stefanik said after the vote approving the measure.
It’s important to note the legislation keeps its doors open to those in dire need of shelter. The Act makes exceptions for facilities providing shelter in response to natural disasters, such as fires, floods or tornadoes, which aligns with the nation’s commitment to humanitarian assistance.
The decision in the House is undoubtedly a stride forward for those who advocate for more robust border control and preserving the intended purpose of schools. As Dan Stein, president of the Federation of American Immigration Reform, rightly emphasized, the passage of the Schools Not Shelters Act is an “important step toward protecting American schoolchildren and the integrity of their education.”
The legislation is far from the finish line, as it now heads to the Senate, where Democrats maintain a slight majority. If the bill surpasses that hurdle, it will land on Joe Biden’s desk, and his move will force the administration to take a definite position on illegal immigration.