LaMountain: PCC's sanctuary law undermines U.S. law
In mid-October, area voters will receive ballots to approve or reject Portland Community College's $185-million bond request. Before voting, they should ask: Has PCC earned the trust to credibly solicit — let alone to deserve — more of our hard-earned money?
As one of the property owners who would foot PCC's tax bill, I say no. Over the past 18 months, the college has taken actions that subvert U.S. law; threaten public safety; and violate its moral, fiduciary and educational responsibilities to American students, taxpayers and the nation as a whole.
First: Late last year, PCC's elected board of directors declared the college a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Via this policy, the college will refuse U.S. immigration authorities information on any illegal-immigrant student "unless legally compelled."
Why did PCC's directors take this action? Had they exercised due diligence, they would have found their sanctuary policy violates federal law: 8 U.S. Code 1324 criminalizes all who, "knowing ... that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields" that alien from detection.
Worse still, the policy endangers public safety. What if, in a swiftly-developing case, PCC were to deny its help to law-enforcement authorities seeking the whereabouts of a criminal-alien enrollee? That refusal would give the subject more time to elude capture, commit further crimes — and, possibly, escape justice completely.
Second: Last month, PCC announced it had established a "Dream Center" on its Rock Creek campus to provide academic and legal help to illegal-immigrant students.
Again: Why? Does PCC consider the educations of non-citizens more important than the educations of Americans? In many PCC programs — welding, nursing and veterinary technology, for instance — enrollment is limited and there is stiff competition for admission. The illegal-immigrant students championed by PCC's "Dream Center" will compete against, and in many cases crowd out, the college's American students for spots in those programs.
And to ice the cake: In April of last year, the college sponsored a "Whiteness History Month." The "whiteness" ideology, as summarized by academician Mikhail Lyubansky, posits that "U.S. society is characterized by a socially-created racial hierarchy that values white(s) above all others."
This, simply put, is nonsense. Over the past half-century, American governments, colleges and businesses have instituted aggressive "diversity," affirmative-action and minority set-aside policies. These give citizens and even non-citizens of color preferences for educations, jobs and promotions over the very citizens PCC alleged are "privileged" by "whiteness." Today, American society provides more freedom, opportunity and prosperity to more people of more races than any society in the world. What, then, possessed PCC to propagate a racially-divisive ideology that fosters resentment against that society?
In sum: PCC, a taxpayer-supported institution, has undermined the rule of law. It has championed, to the detriment of Americans, the interests of non-citizens here illegally. It has denigrated U.S. history and society. And it has set a destructive example for the students in whom it should strive to imbue respect — not contempt — for their country and its laws.
It is voters' right and obligation to hold PCC to account. When they receive their ballots, they should vote no on the PCC bond.
Richard F. LaMountain lives in Cedar Mill.