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Cruz Introduces Legislation to Protect Students and Prohibit Schools from Being Turned into Shelters for Illegal Aliens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Senate companion to the Schools Not Shelters Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support. This legislation would protect and prioritize students by prohibiting K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding from being used as shelters to house illegal aliens.

Sen. Cruz stated, “The invasion at our southern border is straining local services, overwhelming hospitals, and overcrowding schools. To make matters worse, leftist sanctuary cities are even using K-12 schools and college campuses as housing for illegal aliens. Instead of addressing the learning loss caused by Democrat COVID lockdowns, sanctuary cities are focused on diverting resources from students to house illegal aliens. Students are losing access to gyms, dorms, and other school facilities in order to accommodate illegal aliens. Housing unvetted, potentially dangerous illegal aliens in schools is a recipe for disaster. Students should feel safe and be prioritized while at school, and my bill reverses these terrible Democrat policies that have put illegal aliens ahead of students. I call on Senator Schumer to listen to New York parents and bring this bill to the Floor for a vote.”

Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.-19) said, “I’m glad to see my bipartisan bill gaining momentum. As the parent of four children, I agree and share the concerns of mothers and fathers who have spoken out against housing migrants in schools. The bill affirms that schools are places for academics, athletics, community services, and places where children like mine receive vital therapy. They are not migrant shelters.”

Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) stated, “The Biden border crisis is straining our country’s resources to a historic degree. Schoolchildren should not bear the brunt Joe Biden’s open border policies. That’s why I’m proud to support Senator Cruz’s bill to stop our schools from turning into shelters for illegal immigrants.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said, “Illegal immigrants don’t belong in the United States at all—much less in our public schools. Our legislation will ensure federally-funded schools and universities remain centers of learning for American children, not overflow housing facilities for illegal immigrants.”


  • Sen. Ted Cruz introduced the Senate companion to Congressman Marc Molinaro’s Schools Not Shelters Act which passed the House 222-201 with bipartisan support. Senator Ted Budd, Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) cosponsored Senator Cruz’s Schools Not Shelters Act.
  • Instead of demanding that Joe Biden secure the border, Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams have used public schools to house illegal aliens.
  • Using schools to house illegal aliens poses a significant safety risk to schoolchildren, compromises schools’ ability to secure their own campuses, and takes away resources from students. Border Patrol has encountered over 12,000 illegal aliens with criminal convictions since October 1, 2022. Given the Biden administration’s penchant for catch-and-release, it is likely that many of these criminal aliens have been released into the United States. Housing criminal aliens in schools poses an obvious risk to students.
  • The Schools Not Shelters Act would prohibit federally funded K-12 schools, colleges, and universities from housing illegal aliens. This prohibition does not apply when the housing is a short-term measure in response to specified disasters including fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.