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Senate proposal would strip Hamas-sympathizing students of federal aid

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Legislation to “cut off federal aid for grown adults who are breaking our laws, spewing antisemitism, and openly embracing terrorists” has been proposed by a U.S. senator from North Carolina and eight other Republicans.

The No HAMAS Act – as the acronym is played in No Higher education Assistance for Mobs of Antisemitic and terrorist Sympathizing Students – would revoke federal student financial assistance for students who are convicted of trespassing, rioting, or damaging property while protesting at a higher education institution. Students convicted would lose their eligibility for any federal grant, loan, or work assistance.

“Mobs of pro-Hamas students have flagrantly violated the law, destroyed campus property, and resorted to violence against fellow students and law enforcement,” said U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who led introduction of the proposal with eight other Republican senators. “Hardworking taxpayers shouldn’t have to keep paying for the college tuition of convicted lawbreakers. The No Hamas Act is commonsense legislation that will cut off federal aid for grown adults who are breaking our laws, spewing antisemitism, and openly embracing terrorists.”

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona appeared Tuesday for the lower chamber’s Education and Workforce Committee. He was asked point-blank by U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., chairwoman of the panel, if the Biden administration’s program shifting repayment of college loans from students to taxpayers should include taxpayers paying off those students who are antisemitic and stopping Jewish students from going to class.

Cardona gave neither yes or no for an answer. He said students breaking the law and disrupting the educational environment should be held accountable; said his department is committed to campus safety; and said he condemns hate and violence on campus. Foxx never got a yes on three attempts.

Campus Safety Magazine, a leader in tracking the protests of the war between Israel and Hamas, on Friday listed 88 campuses impacted. Situations have grabbed significant media coverage at the Ivy League’s Columbia University in New York City, Southern Cal and UCLA in Los Angeles, in Oxford at Ole Miss, at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., and in the nation’s capital at George Washington University. Throughout the country, evidence has emerged that not all protestors are students.

In North Carolina, the famed Polk Place quad at UNC Chapel Hill was the scene of the American flag being lowered and replaced with the flag of Palestine. Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts, a security detail and some fraternity brothers were instrumental in Old Glory’s return atop the pole. UNC Charlotte and Wake Forest are also on the Campus Safety Magazine list.

Other Republican senators with Tillis on Senate Resolution 4302 were Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.

“In Joe Biden’s America, hardworking taxpayers are forced to aid Hamas-sympathizing students who blatantly violate the law by trespassing and destroying campus property,” Blackburn said.

Chapel Hill native Keith Siegel, whose family was hosted by U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., at the State of the Union last month, is among the Americans being held hostage by Hamas.

Separate legislation filed by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would prevent any college or university student convicted of any offense while protesting at a higher education institution from having their federal student loans forgiven, cancelled, waived or modified.