Like many others, I am disheartened by the action taken this week by the Trump administration to end the program that shields young undocumented immigrants from possible deportation. Known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the program impacts roughly 800,000 young adults, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.
This action flies in the face of Catholic Social Teaching and the basic tenets of Jesuit education. A statement released earlier this week by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities reads in part: "Dreamers have planted roots here as students and young professionals, but as a result of today's rescission, they will now be forced to become pawns of political maneuvering in Congress. Dreamers have much to contribute socially and economically to our nation, and have not violated the law in any way. The nation's 28 Jesuit colleges and universities will make every effort to protect the Dreamers among our students and alumni." (Read the entire statement here.)
Please join me in taking steps to support DACA. Last week, many of you joined me in signing a letter of support
set up by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Jesuit Conference. Now, I ask you to contact your Congressional representative and urge her or him to pass the Dream Act of 2017,
which was introduced in both the House and Senate to provide immigrant youth with a legal pathway to citizenship.
The commitment of Le Moyne - and all institutions of higher education - is to protect the rights of all students to contribute to their individual campuses. By removing the protection provided by DACA, we are eroding this commitment for many whose hard work has earned them the right to attend college and contribute in their own unique ways to a more just society.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.