SNHU Vows to Protect International Students | NECN
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SNHU Vows to Protect International Students

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    President Paul LeBlanc of Southern New Hampshire University expressed strong opposition to President Trump's immigration order and said he is working to make the campus a sanctuary for its 1,000 foreign students. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    The president of Southern New Hampshire University is working to make the campus as much of a sanctuary as possible for the 1,000 international students studying in Manchester.

    Many SNHU students say they got peace of mind in the form of a memo from President Paul LeBlanc that expressed strong opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration order.

    "To see our president doing something, going the extra mile, is absolutely heartwarming and inspiring," said junior Megan Palmer.

    "It made me really proud that day to be a Penman," said junior Amy Mercedes. "That we are going to keep fighting this cause and welcome students regardless of who they are."

    In that memo, President LeBlanc promised to work with legal counsel to try and prevent immigration agents from stepping foot on campus without a warrant.

    "What I am hoping is that we can legally keep at arm's length any sort of vague intervention, any sort of fishing expedition, any sort of what might feel like harassment of students," LeBlanc told NBC Boston during a phone interview Wednesday.

    While most students agree with that specific intention, some were upset by LeBlanc's strongly-worded letter opposing Trump's actions.

    "It was a slap in the face to anybody that is a conservative on campus," said sophomore Dan Passen.

    As the chair of the College Republicans group at SNHU, Passen says political tensions are high.

    "I'll be in the dining center and people have knocked over my food," Passen said.

    And he doesn't feel like the school's leader is helping.

    "I thought it was insulting and I almost take it as President LeBlanc trying to create a division," Passen said.

    LeBlanc heard Passen's concerns Wednesday and already reached out to him to schedule a lunch meeting.

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