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With DACA at Risk, Catholic College Presidents Renew Call on DHS Secretary John Kelly to Protect Immigrant Students


June 30, 2017


Greg Williams, gwilliams@faithinpubliclife.org, (443) 854-1405

With DACA at Risk, Catholic College Presidents Renew Call on DHS Secretary John Kelly to Protect Immigrant Students

Washington, D.C. —  As the attorneys general of ten states write a letter urging the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) for immigrants who were brought to the US as children, more than 65 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, as well as the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, are renewing their call to meet with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to clarify the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies. 

In a letter six weeks ago, the presidents asked for a meeting with Secretary Kelly, who is Catholic, to request that he take steps to protect their immigrant students who are eligible for DACA. Now that state lawmakers have sent a letter to the Trump Administration threatening to sue the federal government if DACA is not rescinded, pressure grows on Secretary Kelly to recommit to maintaining the program.

“As leaders of Catholic colleges and universities, we are dedicated to educating students from all backgrounds,” the letter states. “Our shared faith calls us to protect the most vulnerable among us. Over the years, we have opened the doors of our colleges and universities to Dreamers and advocated for comprehensive immigration reform so that they and their families can live safe, full lives in our country.”

Signatories include the presidents from The Catholic University of America, Fordham University, Villanova University, Xavier University (OH), and Loyola University New Orleans.   

Patricia McGuire, President of Trinity Washington University:

“Dismantling DACA would be a cruel and unnecessary rollback of modest protections for young people who have lived here since early childhood, love this country and identify as proud Americans. A just nation would not seek to scale back or eliminate this pragmatic program that helps young people who are simply trying to finish school, support their families and contribute to communities that they have always called home.”

John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America:

“Our country’s moral quality is measured by the way we treat those who most need our assistance. DACA has given young people a shot at an education and a better life. Here, elimination means abandonment.”

Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., President of Loyola University New Orleans:

“President Trump once reassured ‘Dreamers’ that they would not be targeted by his administration and he should keep that commitment. DACA students embody the best of our country. Their high ideals, patriotism and commitment to serving the common good help make America great. Our political leaders should be doing all that they can to support and encourage these young men and women.”   

To read the letter and view the full list of signers, click here.


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