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Statement on Recent Executive Order

SCU President Michael E. Engh, S.J., issues a statement on the recent executive order from the White House on immigration.


Dear members of the SCU community,

I am deeply concerned with the recent executive order from the White House that has suspended entry of thousands of refugees to the United States for 120 days, and blocked entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for 90 days.

We are in the process of assessing the impact on Santa Clara University’s students, faculty, and staff who are traveling and will do everything in our power to assist those who are adversely affected in our community.

As a Jesuit, Catholic University, Santa Clara has a longstanding commitment to educating immigrants and supporting the most vulnerable in society. One of the highest ideals of Catholic social teaching is to welcome the stranger and to treat others with compassion and solidarity. Civic, religious, and educational leaders all across the U.S. have protested this sweeping Executive Order as inhuman, immoral, and the opposite of what America and people of good will stand for.

Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 as a Jesuit, Catholic institution serving new immigrants, many of whom had been shut out by other institutions of higher learning. This executive order lies in sharp contrast to our mission to care for the most marginalized among us, and to cultivate the cross-cultural understanding that is necessary to address the tremendous problems facing our divided world. The actions of the White House have caused fear and anxiety among many of our international students, and we are committed to caring for them so they may continue their studies and pursue their dreams.

We are preparing a comprehensive list of resources for our international students and scholars that we will share soon.

I urge the government and judiciary of the United States to reconsider this troubling directive. We must, instead, pursue a path of reasoned, thoughtful and humane immigration reform, guided by the principles upon which our country and its religious institutions were founded.

In solidarity,

Michael E. Engh, S.J.