Earlier this month, Pope Francis called us to welcome migrants and refugees. This call is echoed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who have repeatedly called American politicians to stand with persons who are undocumented in the United States today. As we look ahead to the new year, what might Jesuit colleges and universities be called to do to support our undocumented students who continue to live in precarious situations?
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and welcome the Holy Family who were migrants and refugees themselves, Jesuit colleges and universities can continue to advocate for the DACA and Dreamer adults who continue to be in a precarious situation.
The Trump Administration has done little to work towards any just immigration reform since rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in September. Many, including Charles Koch (Koch Industries) and Tim Cook (Apple) are calling for Congress and the Trump Administration to support Dreamers and DACA young adults, many of whom were brought to the United States as children. However, it is unlikely that anything will happen until at least the start to the new year.
Others have taken courageous action: seven DACA students staged a sit-in protest at the Capitol calling for Democrats and Republicans to take action to ensure legal protection for DACA and Dreamers. Using the hashtag #OurDream, these seven individuals are refusing to give their legal identification so as to remain in jail until Congress takes action. They are also participating in a hunger strike. The website Fight For Our Dream has been created so people can learn more information and mobilize support. Their website reports that Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders(I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) have pledged they will not vote for a spending bill that does not ensure legal protection for undocumented young persons.
More information can be found on the website or by searching #OurDream on Twitter.
The cover photo was taken in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico looking into the United States through the border wall. The photo is featured courtesy of Greg Magnan of Seattle University.