English as a Second Language instructor Colleen Shields gives a lecture to her international students in the Level F College Transition Listening/Speaking class on Feb. 14. Most of her students plan to enroll in credit class as full-time students by next term.

On Feb. 8 Lane Community College’s Board of Education announced that Lane now declares itself a sanctuary campus. Numbers of colleges adopting the role continue to grow as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order regarding immigrants he signed shortly after taking office on Jan. 20.

The sanctuary campus concept is the brainchild of Cosecha. This non-violent movement organization stands up for the permanent protection, dignity and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Tyler Plummer / The Torch
A group of students work together on an assignment in Colleen Shields’ Level F College Transition Listening/Speaking class while Shields works with other students. The class teaches international and resident students lecture listening, note-taking, and presentation skills.

Across the nation many colleges and universities have taken on the role of protecting undocumented students.

KLCC, Lane’s public radio station spoke with Mary Spilde, LCC president on Thursday Feb. 9. Spilde had visited with students from other countries, Syria and Iran among others, which were included in Trump’s Executive Order banning immigrants.

“It was just wonderful to talk with these students about why they came here, what they think about Lane, which was universally, ‘I feel so supported here at Lane’ and how much they love this country,” Spilde said.

As stated in Lane’s sanctuary resolution; the college supports a diverse population regardless of race or religion. Lane will “protect students from intimidation, unfair investigation and deportation” Spilde added.

In Nov. 2016 The Torch reported that more than six students rallied outside the Center Building holding signs and chanting demands to make LCC a safe place for undocumented students.

Lane listened to their students, weighed the objectives and made a difficult decision to stand firm with immigrant students while complying with state and federal law.

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