As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Santa Clara University is grateful that today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision will result in the continuation of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, protecting from deportation about 650,000 people brought to the U.S. as children, and offering a legal route for work and other civic participation.
Santa Clara University for years has expressed strong support for continuing legal protections for the young adults currently covered by the program. They are part of our family at Santa Clara and valued members of university communities across the country. The DACA program is a humane and practical approach to address one facet of the immigration-policy crisis in America. But it remains at risk until we can reach bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform so long needed in this country.
Despite our national divisions, there has long been widespread support for “Dreamers”— hard-working, civically minded, and generous members of our communities who were brought here as children by families seeking a better life. Most of them have known no other home but America.
We also understand that the immigration challenge involves more than DACA. We continue to be concerned about what is happening on the border with family-child separations, children in detention camps, and violence against Latinx and other immigrant communities.
Catholic Social Teaching recognizes that every person has a right to migrate to protect themselves and sustain their families. It also recognizes that while nations may regulate borders and control immigration, they must do so with justice and mercy and with particular attention to the most vulnerable. These are values that all people of faith and good will can share. For more than a decade legislation to grant a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers has enjoyed widespread popular and often bipartisan support. Now is the time for Congress to act.
Santa Clara University has long supported undocumented students and students from mixed-status families. You can learn more about Santa Clara University’s support here.
Educating for justice and cultivating a faith that does justice are core values for us at Santa Clara. These values compel us to continue speaking and acting on behalf of our Dreamers and their families.
Read President O'Brien's statement on the DACA decision here.