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Congress Launches Probe into Rising Antisemitism on College Campuses



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Congress has initiated an investigation into the increasing incidents of antisemitism on college campuses, sending letters to the leaders of ten prominent universities. This move is led by Republican North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and leaders of five other key committees, aiming to address concerns about student safety and the appropriate use of taxpayer funds, reports The Center Square. 

The letters, directed to Barnard, Columbia, Cal Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Penn, Rutgers, and Cornell, emphasize the need to “restore a safe learning environment” and ensure the “proper stewardship of taxpayer funds.” These letters are signed by U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), James Comer (R-Ky.), and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), who respectively chair the committees on Education and the Workforce; Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce; Judiciary; Oversight and Accountability; and Science, Space & Technology.

“This Congress will not stand idly by and allow an environment hostile to Jewish students to persist,” the lawmakers asserted in their letter.

The context of this probe follows the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, which has since led to ongoing conflicts resulting in over 37,000 deaths, including approximately 35,000 Palestinians. In the U.S., this conflict has sparked unrest on college campuses, ranging from peaceful protests to more disruptive actions such as changing U.S. flags to those of Palestine, building takeovers, and property destruction. In many instances, these unlawful acts involved both students and external participants.

The letter also states, “The House of Representatives will not countenance the use of federal funds to indoctrinate students into hateful, antisemitic, anti-American supporters of terrorism.”

The representatives highlight that postsecondary education should offer students an environment to learn and have their beliefs challenged. They argue that universities, which receive “hundreds of millions of federal funds annually,” should not allow their campuses to become platforms for promoting terrorism, antisemitic harassment, and other forms of intimidation and violence.

Each letter provides an outline of the ongoing investigations conducted by the respective committees and the reasons for the probes. While the immediate outcomes for each university remain uncertain, some institutions have already been called to testify in Washington.

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate



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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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