Board Chair Quits After Portland CC Says It Is Sanctuary

January 5, 2017

The board chair at Portland Community College has resigned over a decision by the college to declare itself a "sanctuary campus," willing to do everything possible to protect students who lack legal documentation to remain in the United States, Willamette Week reported. Gene Pitts, the board chair who resigned, wrote in his resignation letter that "the decision to use the term 'sanctuary college' politicizes the college, places risk on the backs of the 40-plus percent of the college's students that receive Pell Grant monies (and ultimately on the college's federal funding), and alienates a percentage of voters as we approach the college's next bond campaign."

The college announced it was going to use the term "sanctuary college" in December. A statement issued by the college at the time said in part, "While it is important and responsible to acknowledge that the term 'sanctuary college' has no legal status and does not confer legal protection to students or their families, it nonetheless offers a powerful statement of support to some of our most vulnerable students and their families at this time of uncertainty."

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