Statement on the Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
September 5, 2017
We are extremely disheartened by the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Loyola University Chicago firmly believes in the dignity of each person and in the promotion of social justice. It defies understanding that we as a country would squander the wealth of talent, commitment, and grit exhibited by this extraordinary group of people who we know as our colleagues, our classmates, and our neighbors. These young individuals are woven into the fabric of our communities and have a basic right to contribute to our society. They are our future doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, business owners, and leaders who join us in lifting up the most marginalized in our world. Loyola University Chicago is committed to their success.
Backed by the passionate commitment and hard work of the Dreamers Committee, we will continue to support and advocate for our students and work with our local, state, and federal partners to find a legislative solution. In the past year, Philip Hale, vice president for government affairs, and I convened meetings with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, as well as congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, to advocate on behalf of our students. We have also signed on to public statements with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Pomona College, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Illinois Business Immigration Coalition that reflect our shared and ongoing commitment. It continues to be clear that by working together with our higher education partners and coalitions, we can strategically leverage our resources and maximize our efforts on behalf of our students.
Currently, we are in close dialogue with organizations that are developing various legal initiatives and examining how the University and/or our DACA students might participate. We encourage everyone to advocate for new legislation that will uphold the current protections of DACA. Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to act in the next six months to preserve the program’s protections.
Providing support to our students remains the focus of our efforts. Please visit the Undocumented Student Resources page to learn more. This site contains information about students’ legal rights as well as campus contacts and training opportunities.
Our University is an intellectual community shaped by hope, faith, and service—hope for a more just future, faith that it can be achieved, and service for others in need. While the challenges facing us may be daunting and the future we aspire to may at times appear distant and difficult to reach, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect and provide access to education for all members of our Loyola community.
Loyola is a community devoted to tackling the most complicated issues and doing what we can to elevate the most marginalized in our society. As we confront social injustices today and in the future, I ask that we do so in a way that advances our dialogue and understanding, and with a core tenet of our Jesuit, Catholic faith in mind: dignity and respect for all.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD
President, Loyola University Chicago