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GOP senators call on Departments of Justice, Education to protect Jewish students



As violence against Jewish students escalates on U.S. college campuses, Republican U.S. senators are calling for immediate federal action.

Twenty-seven Republican U.S. senators, led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Tuesday called an Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to respond immediately to the “outbreak of anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist mobs on college campuses.”

“These pro-Hamas rioters have effectively shut down college campuses and have literally chased Jewish students away from our schools,” they wrote in a letter, saying that the Department of Education and federal law enforcement must act immediately “to restore order, prosecute the mobs who have perpetuated violence and threats against Jewish students, revoke the visas of all foreign nationals (such as exchange students) who have taken part in promoting terrorism, and hold accountable school administrators who have stood by instead of protecting their students.”

They requested a response of the actions being taken to protect Jewish students by the end of the day Wednesday.

Their demand comes after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, called on the Biden administration to revoke the visas of those in the country supporting Hamas. After he filed a motion to deport terrorist sympathizers last November, Senate Democrats blocked it. The president also rejected Rubio’s suggestion and instead extended protections to “some Palestinians” from deportations.

After the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, antisemitism and violence escalated against Jews in America by nearly 400%, The Center Square reported.

The Republican senators cite recent examples of violence committed against Jewish students at Columbia and Yale universities, saying Garland and Cardona must “take action to restore order and protect Jewish students on our college campuses.”

A U.S. House committee has also demanded answers after violence erupted on Columbia’s campus, The Center Square reported.

The senators said that if President Joe Biden’s condemnation of the violence on Sunday “was serious, it must be accompanied by immediate action from your departments.”

They also cited multiple actions occurring on U.S. college campuses that violate federal law, including riots targeting Jewish students and staff, violence or attempted violence against anyone because of their Jewish heritage, school administrators’ failing to protect Jewish students from discrimination or harassment, and espousing support for terrorist groups like Hamas.

These acts of violence are grounds for the schools to lose access to federal funds, and espousing support for Hamas violates federal immigration law and is grounds for deportation, they said.

Joining Rubio were Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Katie Britt and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, John Cornyn of Texas, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Ted Cruz of Texas, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Josh Hawley of Missouri, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, John Thune of South Dakota and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

While the worst offenders and most violent, antisemitic higher education institutions appear to be ivy league schools with multi-million-dollar endowments, there are roughly 100 federal investigations into U.S. colleges and universities nationwide for alleged Title VI violations, The Center Square has reported.

From Jan. 1, 2024, through April 16, the DOE OCR is investigating alleged Title VI violations committed at:

  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • Youngstown State University (Ohio)
  • Princeton University
  • University of California – Santa Barbara
  • University of Hawaii – Manoa
  • Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Middlebury College
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • Swarthmore College
  • SUNY Rockland Community College
  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Michigan
  • The New School (New York City)
  • Indiana University – Bloomington
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • SUNY Binghamton University
  • Arizona State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Yale University
  • Abraham Lincoln University
  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • Muhlenberg College
  • The Ohio State University
  • Temple University
  • Brown University
  • San Diego State University

The colleges and universities all receive taxpayer-funded federal grants.