Veto Indiana State Bill 423 Against Immigrants

The Honorable Eric Holcomb
Indiana Governor
State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2964

Dear Governor Holcomb,

We are writing this letter to inform you that we have serious concerns about the wisdom of Senate Bill 423, Sanctuary Policies and Secondary Educational Institutions. While the bill’s stated intent is to protect students in our secondary institutions, in actuality it provides no additional level of safety. The bill is a smoke screen whose only impact will be to add fuel to a growing anti immigrant sentiment.

As members of the Greater Lafayette Community and people of faith , we champion the intellectual and financial contributions of Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College students and faculty. Documented or not, these individuals are a valued part of our community. In 2013-2014 Indiana’s foreign students contributed more than $839.6 million to the Indiana economy in student tuition, fees, and living expenses. During the same time period, foreign students added $308 million to the economy of Greater Lafayette.

We are asking that this bill not be signed into law for the following reasons:

  • The signing of this bill only adds another layer of fear and intimidation to an already marginalized population.
  • The bill has no impact on the real issues surrounding the immigration crises and is superficial at best.
  • Based on the bill’s machinations since being introduced, one can only surmise that its only real value is political posturing. At its most noble, the legislation signals that the State is in lockstep with the contentious and sometimes conflicting messaging of the Federal Government.
  • The only consequence of the bill would be to deter foreign born students from attending Indiana postsecondary institutions. Putting up barriers to education, especially those that are more about fluff than substance could potentially lead to disaffection within the immigrant community and create rifts in the fabric of our society.
  • The amount of money and resources dedicated to the consideration of this bill which by all accounts only codifies what is already the law of the land could have been used toward more weighty issues impacting Hoosiers such as Indiana’s opioid addiction crisis, teen suicide, and workforce preparedness.
  • This bill potentially could cost the State money. The fiscal note states “to the extent this bill could impact future enrollment for undocumented students it would cause a decrease in nonresident tuition revenue.”

When presented at the last Third House meeting, this bill was defeated 39 to 3. SB 423 threatens to interrupt the college experience, social connections, structures, and learning process of all students attending Indiana postsecondary institutions.

It seems that the bill’s only purpose is to give the perception of being tough on immigration and instead of being a positive would only serve to to antagonize and undermine the safe space integral to higher education.

You have a reputation for being a consensus builder, your influence in this matter is vital. We urge you to take all of these concerns into account. If you do, we believe you will conclude as we have, that the best option is to veto SB 423.


Eileen Arthur
306 North Sharon Chapel Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906-4836

Charlotte Ferguson
140 Arrowhead Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Patricia Garrott
2120 North Salisbury Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Sue and Mark Hermodson
344 Rosebank Lane
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Peggy and Bill Hoover
206 Connolly Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906-2724

Louise Jewell
10577 East 450 North
Otterbein, IN 47970-8030

cc: The Honorable Sally Siegrist, Indiana State Representative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *