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New Bill Could Revoke Anti-Israel Protesters’ Federal Aid

Anti-Israel Protest
Anti-Israel protest/Getty images Yawar Nazir / Contributor

A congressman from Texas is working on legislation that would prevent students who have engaged in violent anti-Israel protests from receiving federal financial aid.

Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence. He has not been shy about expressing his disappointment with the behavior that has erupted on college campuses across the country.

“It’s simple: federal taxpayers should not be paying for college for anyone who engages in a violent riot or assaults a police officer,” Pfluger said to the Texas Scorecard. “There must be a return to order.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, anti-Israel protesters have mobilized on college campuses, erecting encampments on school property, agitating against the Jewish state, and sometimes engaging in riotous behavior.

“My new legislation aims to send a clear message: if you assault a police officer or engage in rioting, you forfeit your right to federal financial aid,” Pfluger told Fox News.

Pfluger said it was not a matter of politics but basic respect for U.S. citizens. He called the protests on college campuses “horrific,” saying, “We cannot allow the persecution of Jewish Americans or any community to go unchecked.”

He said that withholding federal taxpayer support from those convicted at on-campus protests would restore safety and order to the universities wracked by the demonstrations.

Pfluger’s office said it would release the exact language of his proposed bill soon.

The Department of Homeland Security recently warned international students that they could face deportation if they get suspended from their classes for engaging in protests while in the United States on a student visa, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The warning came after Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) took to X on April 21 to call for steeper punishments for anti-Israel student protesters.

“Immediately deport all foreign students studying in the USA that support Hamas,” tweeted Blackburn. “We should also revoke federal student loans for any American student arrested for supporting Hamas.”

Over 1,000 students have been arrested across college campuses nationwide in recent weeks. In Texas alone, the University of Texas campuses at Austin, Dallas, and Arlington have all seen demonstrations.

UT Austin has seen over 100 arrests of campus protesters, while UT Dallas saw its first arrests of 20 students earlier this week.

President Joe Biden broke his silence on the situation Thursday morning, emphasizing that hate speech and racism of any kind is not an American value.

“Violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is,” said Biden. “… Destroying property is not a peaceful protest; it’s against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations — none of this is a peaceful protest.”

 

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