Dear Seattle University Community,
I want to express my deep disappointment to our students and alumni who are directly impacted by President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and begin phasing it out six months from now. While we are hopeful Congress will pass legislation to maintain the DACA protections, we know how difficult and painful this current situation is for you.
Seattle University is a welcoming and inclusive institution and campus community. We stand with you and remain committed to doing everything we can to support you. We value the many contributions you make to our society, workforce and university.
Short of congressional action in the comings months, the more than 800,000 individuals whose parents—seeking a better life for their children—brought them here as children and are protected by DACA will be at risk of deportation. Today’s decision runs counter to the values of our country, our common humanity and our university.
There is strong national and bipartisan Congressional support for maintaining DACA. We will continue to join together with other universities and higher education associations in urging Congress to act swiftly to pass the Dream Act or other legislation to keep DACA in place.
Earlier today the Independent Colleges of Washington, of which Seattle University is a member, along with all Washington institutions of higher learning issued a strong statement in support of DACA. Additionally, I recently joined more than 1,300 Catholic educators in signing a letter from the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Jesuits in support of DACA. Last week, we also signed onto a letter to President Trump from the American Council on Education through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Association of Catholic Colleges and Schools. Each of these letters, along with the previous ones I signed onto, has had my full and unequivocal support. Seattle U will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and alumni who are affected by today’s decision and not let it affect the ways in which we have long supported Dreamers, including with financial aid.
The university has a number of resources available to support our community members affected by DACA and other changes in the immigration system. There are faculty and staff to call upon within colleges, schools and divisions, including the International Student Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Campus Ministry, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Global Engagement and the University Counsel’s office. Last year, we also created a resource page for undocumented students. I encourage all students in need of this help and support to make use of it.
To our Seattle University community, please know I remain grateful for all of your support for our students and alumni who are part of the DACA program. We will continue moving forward together in solidarity, respect, care and compassion.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.