A Call for Support of Undocumented Students
Sent to members of the University community by Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., interim president
As you may know, the Trump Administration announced its decision today to rescind the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. Deeply troubled by this, I join with Catholic and Jesuit leaders nationwide to call for the protection of undocumented students brought to the United States as children.
DACA gave undocumented young people authorization to work and study free from the crushing fear of immediate deportation. DACA students, including University of Scranton students, dream and aspire to contribute in significant ways to their professions and communities in the same way as all students. Through no fault of their own, they are now being placed in legal limbo and could be forced back into the shadows of our society.
Our Catholic and Jesuit mission demands that we uphold the dignity of every person and stand in solidarity with those on the margins. As a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops noted:
“The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society…. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.”
Please join me in prayer for those in our midst and around the country who today face renewed anxiety and uncertainty, and in taking action on their behalf by appealing to Congress in collaboration with partner Catholic and Jesuit organizations, through the University’s Advocacy Corner. As Fr. Timothy Kesicki, S.J., President, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, has said, “We call upon Congress to act without delay in enacting a lasting solution, but more than ever, we commit ourselves to living out God’s law, which calls on us to love the stranger, remembering that our ancestors in faith were once strangers in a foreign land.”
For our part, I renew the promise made by Jesuit college and university presidents last November to protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campus. The University of Scranton remains a place of welcome for all students.
Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J.