November 11, 2016
Dear President Barry Glassner:
As faculty, students, staff and alumni at Lewis & Clark, we believe that our College should protect the most vulnerable people in our community. Given the announced plan by President-elect Trump to deport millions of immigrants and to abolish the DACA program that provides relief from deportation for over 700,000 students in the United States, we feel an urgency to declare publicly our College’s support for and protection of undocumented people on our campus.
We understand that the administration is already considering such protocols and we would like to join those efforts by respectfully requesting that President Glassner investigate the possibility of declaring Lewis & Clark College a Sanctuary for higher education committed to protecting the members of its community from unfair deportation, investigation, or other intimidation.
As a College that prides itself on its international programs and its international students, we feel that Lewis & Clark College should be a leader in efforts to defend undocumented immigrants from the draconian policies that Trump has outlined. Petitions at colleges and universities across the United States, including Pomona, Yale, Harvard and Smith have already gathered thousands of signatures in an effort to make their institutions sanctuaries.
We see this as a concrete action the university can take to support and protect the people within our community. There is ample support for declaring the College a Sanctuary among local city officials. Portland has declared itself a Sanctuary City and Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese has refused to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on its Priority Enforcement Program because it violates Oregon law. A 2011 ICE memo already urges restraint when enforcing immigration laws in places of worship, schools, and hospitals (See https://www.ice.gov/doclib/ero-outreach/pdf/10029.2-policy.pdf).
As we face difficult days ahead, the Lewis & Clark community would like to stand together with our undocumented brothers and sisters.
* If you would like to identify your position or year of graduation, please do so in the comments section.