Posted by Joseph Phillips on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 1:26 PM PDT
Many of our students are concerned about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), either because it affects them directly or because they know someone who is affected. Our President, Fr. Steve Sundborg, has addressed the issue, as have other campus leaders, and I want to add my voice to theirs.
I do not support the rescinding of DACA and am very hopeful that legislation will be approved between now and March to reinstate the program. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees this will happen. The university has made it clear we will support them in every way we can. We have also made it clear that should ICE agents visit campus, we will do everything we can do within the law to protect the rights of students. I do not expect such visits to take place, but I cannot guarantee that.
DACA isn’t the only issue out there. What about Charlottesville? Charlottesville is a nightmare. Who can imagine that in 2017 White Supremacists feel emboldened enough to have a public demonstration of any kind? And that they then are bold enough to return to the scene again and again? And that all our elected officials are not lining up to condemn these displays in no uncertain terms? I am very concerned with Charlottesville and its aftermath.
How about NFL football players, starting with Colin Kaepernick, using the National Anthem to make a statement about racism in our society? I support that. Players have the right to do that and I would be disappointed in them if they stopped doing that before they think their message has been heard. That is not disrespect for the flag, for the military, or the nation. It is about seizing an opportunity to voice frustration with our failure to make progress on racial injustice. Things are not getting better, they are getting worse, and I am very troubled by the efforts to silence these players.
DACA, Charlottesville, Racism in America – all are difficult issues for all of us. If you are a student troubled by these, you should know you are not alone in your concern! They concern me, too!