Blackburn Leads Bill To Prevent Federal Funding For Colleges And Universities That Employ Illegal Immigrants

April 9, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) today introduced the Enforcing Rule of Law on Campus Act, which would withhold federal funding from any college or university that employs illegal immigrants on campus.

“If colleges and universities want access to federal funding, they need to abide by federal immigration law,” said Senator Blackburn. “Hardworking American citizens do not deserve to be cast aside in order to prioritize illegal immigrants. Amid President Biden’s open border agenda and willful disregard for the rule of law, it is crucial that our educational institutions play by the rules.”

U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) co-sponsored the legislation.

“Those who come into America illegally should be detained and then deported—not employed at colleges or universities,” said Senator Cotton. “Our legislation will make sure schools that are effectively aiding President Biden’s open border polices do not receive a dime of federal funding.” 

“We must do everything we can do remove the incentives of illegal immigration, and stopping institutions that take federal funding from employing illegal immigrants is a no-brainer,” said Senator Braun.

The National Association of Scholars endorsed the legislation.


  • Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, enacted by section 101 of the Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Control Act of 1986, makes it unlawful for a person or other entity to hire for employment an illegal alien while knowing the alien’s illegal status.
  • The University of California’s (UC) governing Board of Regents previously discussed a plan to allow about 4,000 UC students without legal immigration status within the U.S. to have on campus jobs.
    • On January 25, 2024, the Board of Regents voted against moving forward with the plan for at least a year given the legal ramifications of such a decision.
  • Every year, colleges and universities receive billions in direct federal funding in the form of grants and contract agreements.

Click here for bill text.

Click here to download a video from Senator Blackburn.