The Georgia state House approved a bill that would strip private colleges of state funding if they adopt "sanctuary" policies and don't cooperate with federal immigration officials.
Lawmakers voted 112-17 on the bill, which now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
The measure comes after students at some colleges asked their schools to declare themselves as "sanctuaries" after President Donald's Trump's election and his promises to crackdown on illegal immigration.
State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, said he wants a state law to ban sanctuary campuses that mirrors a Georgia law that bars cities from adopting sanctuary policies towards unauthorized immigrants.
"Lawbreaking 101 is not an acceptable course in our universities," Ehrhart said. "It's not an acceptable example for those who are in our universities or for our society."
Critics say the bill’s unnecessary and sends the wrong message to immigrants.
State Rep. Brenda Lopez, D-Norcross, said private colleges are currently not violating any federal or state laws.
"This bill seeks to address a concern and a problem that does not exist, and in fact, has not existed," Lopez said.
Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has said that immigration officials don't arrest people at educational institutions according to their "sensitive locations" policy, except in certain circumstances. He said that policy remains in effect.