January 2013

Study of Undocumented Students To Be Unveiled Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

Findings from a major national study, co-authored by SCU faculty, of undocumented students at Jesuits colleges and universities will be unveiled and discussed at a Feb. 26, Washington, D.C. event.

Findings of major national study of undocumented students at Jesuits colleges and universities to be unveiled and discussed at a Feb. 26, Washington, D.C. event

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 28, 2013 — In the United States today, students attending college as undocumented immigrants  typically are bright, talented, and motivated young men and women who were brought into this country as preschoolers by parents through illegal means, or who entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visas.  Despite the temporary relief offered by the Obama Administration’s new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, they find themselves prevented from developing their full potential, limited in their ability to contribute to the civic life of their community, and in fear of being deported.

WHEN and WHERE: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. (continental breakfast at 7:15 a.m.); Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

WHAT: Results will be released of a national study titled “Immigration: Undocumented Students in Higher Education”

Researchers from three Jesuit universities will share the results of a two-year, $200,000 Ford Foundation-funded study of the issues and complexities facing undocumented students in higher education. The research was drawn from students at the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

Among the research findings to be unveiled:

*Findings and recommendations from a survey about the lives of undocumented students from six Jesuit universities.
*How students do —and do not—get around the current restrictions that prevent them from realizing their dreams of becoming teachers, accountants, nurses, doctors and engineers.
*The consequences of undocumented students’ feelings of disconnectedness from campus life.
*Legal issues facing undocumented students.

WHY: Jesuit universities — in accordance with Catholic Social Teaching’s call for dignified treatment of migrants and the authentic development of all people — have long been dedicated to educating immigrant populations.  

The study, completed from 2010 to 2012, is an opportunity to share and disseminate research results that aim to: 

•    present a way of proceeding on immigration that informs and helps shape the national educational discourse;
•    improve institutional practices for undocumented students at Jesuit institutions nationwide;
•    explore the obstacles, needs, and desires of impacted students, and provide them with a more-fulfilling educational experience;
•    make a substantive contribution to the common good of the nation from a principled Catholic perspective; and
•    suggest a new model of leadership in this area.

WHO:  Researchers from three Jesuit Institutions — Fairfield University, (Fairfield, Conn.) Loyola University (Chicago, Ill.) and Santa Clara University, (Santa Clara, Calif.) — will present.

Also in attendance will be about 150 presidents, faculty, administrators and students from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), as well as national legislators and students. Among the AJCU presidents in attendance will be some who have signed a “moral statement” pledging to work together to help undocumented students.

Media will have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with speakers, researchers and students following the event.

HOW: Three lead Jesuit institutions – Fairfield, Santa Clara University, and Loyola University Chicago - each partnered with another Jesuit university in their region – Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey (Fairfield), Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles (Santa Clara), and University of Detroit Mercy (Loyola University Chicago), to conduct  the research.

Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life spearheaded the project. The Center for Faith and Public Life studies areas where religion and socio-political issues intersect. Fr. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., is the director of the center. For more information, please visit www.fairfield.edu/immigrantstudent

About Fairfield University
Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools.  In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,000 students. Nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 10 schools and colleges. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu.

Media Contacts:
Deborah Lohse | Santa Clara University | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121
Meg McCaffrey | Fairfield University | mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu  | 203-254-4000, ext. 2726