As the education deans of the nation’s Jesuit colleges and universities, we are compelled to join our university presidents and others who have raised their collective voices to support our DACA students (AJCU Presidents Statement; Jesuit Student Government Presidents Statement). Through our work, we prepare the teachers, principals, and other educational support providers for the youth of our nation. The Jesuit educational tradition values the right of all peoples to a meaningful and quality education, which is transformative for both the learner and the teacher. Our DACA students are no exception. Through no fault of their own, they came to the United States in search of opportunities. They have been documented and thoroughly vetted, are among our most successful students, and are preparing for positions of leadership and service in various industries in the United States. Deporting these young people just as they are poised to make strong contributions to this country—after investing so many resources to educate them in our public schools—is poor public policy and not in the public interest. 

As education leaders, we are aware of the unintended consequences that deportation, or even the threat of deportation, has on an entire school community. For example, in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)—the second largest in the country—roughly one in four students is undocumented or has a parent who is undocumented. While these numbers may seem dramatic, Los Angeles is not unlike other large urban cores in our country. This reality forces the question—what are the unintended consequences for our school communities under a constant threat of deportation? The story of Yuleni and her sister Fatima, young students in Los Angeles schools and the daughters of Romulo Avelica-González, help to put human faces on these dire consequences. Immediately after Romulo, an undocumented immigrant, dropped off Yuleni at school last February, he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as Fatima caught the arrest on camera.

This parent’s arrest at the school house door for being undocumented had a chilling ripple effect on the whole school community, even prompting the school to tell students whose parents are in the U.S. illegally to develop family plans for what to do if a parent is detained or deported. No child should have to bear this burden. Under these conditions, it is near impossible for students to learn and for teachers to teach. When loved ones feel unsafe under the threat of deportation, the teaching and learning of all the children in our P-12 schools suffers tremendously. That is the most significant unintended consequence of this misguided policy.

DACA students contribute greatly to the common good of American society. The United States of America is their home. They participated in the DACA program in good faith, and have much to offer this country through their hard work and talent. We cannot betray them by ending the DACA program and sending them to countries they do not even know. As noted above, deporting DACA students or their undocumented family members will have repercussions beyond the individuals and families involved; such actions disrupt the education of entire communities. As a society, we cannot afford the unintended educational consequences such policy actions would have. We urge our leaders to find a permanent solution for the DACA program for the benefit of our youth and our country.

Dr. Stanton Wortham
Dean, Lynch School of Education
Boston College

Dr. Jeffrey R. Lindauer
Dean, School of Education and Human Services
Canisius University

Bob Hannafin
Dean, Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions
Fairfield University

Dr. Virginia Roach
Dean, School of Education
Fordham University

Dr. Vincent Alfonso
Dean, School of Education
Gonzaga University

Dr. Catherine A. Rosemary
Co-Chair, Department of Education and School Psychology
John Carroll University

Dr. Shane Martin
Dean, School of Education
Loyola Marymount University

Dr. David Slavsky
Interim Dean, School of Education
Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Joshua Smith
Dean, School of Education
Loyola University Maryland

Dr. William Henk
Dean, College of Education
Marquette University

Dr. Heidi Barker
Interim Academic Dean
Regis University

Dr. Jennifer Friend
Dean, College of Health and Human Services
Rockhurst University

Dr. Molly A. Schaller
Interim Dean, School of Education
Saint Louis University

Dr. Joseph V. Doria, Jr.
Dean, Caulfield School of Education
Saint Peter’s University

Dr. Sabrina Zirkel
Dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology
Santa Clara University

Dr. Deanna Sands
Dean, College of Education
Seattle University

Dr. Shabnam Koirala-Azad
Dean of Education
University of San Francisco

Dr. Debra Pellegrino
Dean, Panuska College of Professional Studies
University of Scranton

Dr. Paul Gore
Dean, College of Professional Sciences
Xavier University

In response to the recent announcement of the removal of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the student body Presidents of the twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States publicly stand in solidarity with our undocumented students and their allies. We, as a collective unit, acknowledge that this is a human issue that will impact over 800,000 members of our nation. Immigrants have played a crucial part in the foundation of this nation and have dreams and aspirations like any other person; these dreams should be preserved and kept sacred just as any other.

As colleges and universities rooted in the Jesuit traditions, our students are called to engage in the discourse and advocate for a more just and equitable world. In the face of injustice, we are challenged to practice a high level of discernment and allow our knowledge and experiences to inform our actions of being with and for others. It is important to emphasize that our unifying mission underlines the commitment to all people, regardless of national origin and documentation status. Any action and policy that seeks to divide and tear us apart should never be accepted and thereby calls for our total resistance to such.

With that being said, the student body Presidents of Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States will:

With this statement, we encourage all students to treat this recent announcement of the removal of the DACA program as a call to action to stand with and contest this decision alongside those at the margins. We would like to highlight the importance of becoming educated on the matters at hand, participating in public protest, and communicating with your respective legislators to enact change. The understanding of our privilege must be utilized to realize our roles as higher education institutions in catalyzing social change in our contemporary world. We urge our peers across the country to stand together and for our undocumented students.

Information courtesy of Jesuit Student Government Presidents    
Information courtesy of Jesuit Student Government Presidents



WASHINGTON, D.C. – In light of President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” Jesuit colleges and universities have issued statements to their students, faculty, staff and local communities. The following quotes are from each statement (click on the school names to read the full versions):

Boston College: “This Order undermines a key strength of our higher education system, as it turns away talented faculty and students who seek to immigrate to the United States. For decades, colleges and universities in America have benefited from such individuals, and our nation has enjoyed the fruits of having the world’s greatest post-secondary education system. The Order is also contrary to American understandings of this nation’s role as a refuge and its place as a society that does not discriminate on the basis of religion or national origin.”

College of the Holy Cross: “The College’s Mission Statement asks: ‘What are our obligations to one another? What is our special responsibility to the world’s poor and powerless?’ The events of this past week invite us to discern how each of us is called, individually and collectively, to live this mission and to ‘make the best of [our] own talents, to work together, to be sensitive to one another, to serve others, and to seek justice within and beyond the Holy Cross community.’”

Creighton University: “The Society of Jesus has a particularly rich history of engaging foreign cultures and customs and, in particular, working with people who are suffering and displaced. We have served as educators to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and people of no religion, sharing our humanist pedagogy, practice of discernment, and actions for peace and justice for hundreds of years. It is that very Catholic, Jesuit mission that invites us to reach out in support of immigrants and refugees.”

Fairfield University: “As a Jesuit Catholic institution, Fairfield takes pride in our commitment to social responsibility, for as we know, embracing diversity is a distinguishing hallmark of Jesuit education and we will continue, as we have for the past 75 years, our commitment to build a community of learners from a diversity of social, economic, racial, cultural, national and religious backgrounds. The express purpose of a Fairfield education is the development of global citizens, forming men and women who are at home in the world, able to engage in any cultural circumstance with an open mind and the capacity to empathize with the perspective of others.”

Fordham University: “Though we do not know the ultimate outcome of the president’s order (nor subsequent orders and legislation), please be assured that Fordham University stands with the tens of thousands of refugees and would-be immigrants affected by these laws. We have a long history as a University of and for immigrants, in a city and a nation built by immigrants.”

Georgetown University: “We have been international since the days of our founding. Georgetown is 228 years old—founded in 1789, eight months before the republic itself. In our first classes, a quarter of our students came from other countries. Our first course catalogues in the 1790s were in three languages. Our international character is integral to our identity as a University, to the free exchange of ideas, and to our ability to support all of our students, staff, and faculty in contributing to our global community. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity provides the foundation for our lives together. Guided by our mission, we have placed a special emphasis on interreligious dialogue and our openness to different faith traditions and cultures. This includes our efforts to support a diverse and vibrant Muslim community on campus.”

Gonzaga University: “The history of America is the history of a nation created by people from many different nations and cultural backgrounds across time. Often these individuals fled war, famine, and religious persecution and came to the United States in search of a better life. I [President Dr. Thayne McCulloh] am reminded of the words of Emma Lazarus’ poem, New Colossus, etched upon a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’…Gonzaga University will support those among us who are vulnerable and who are experiencing fear and tremendous anxiety during this time: our Muslim students, immigrant families from Middle Eastern nations, and our undocumented DACA students among them.”

John Carroll University: “I [President Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J.] write to assure you that we join others in the worldwide higher education community to support those affected by President Trump’s executive order suspending entry into the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. As a Jesuit Catholic University, we remain committed to an inclusive and diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As I shared previously in the Statement of AJCU Presidents on Undocumented Students, we will take every action within the law to protect all members of our community, including Muslim students, faculty, and staff who are here on visas. Consonant with our Jesuit heritage, we will care for these, our students and colleagues.”

Le Moyne College: “Our Jesuit heritage, with its core commitment to the service of faith through the promotion of social justice, directs that we work to protect all members of our human family. Le Moyne’s Student Development division is leading a college-wide effort to work with students from the affected countries to ensure they are supported during this time. Many have asked what they can do in support. Some suggestions: Donate to or volunteer at local agencies such as Catholic Charities and Interfaith Works, which support the resettlement of refugees to Syracuse; donate to the ACLU; and attend campus lectures and programs coordinated by the Muslim Student Association, Multicultural Affairs, and faculty on topics of inclusion.”

Loyola Marymount University: “Members of our LMU family are persons for and with others; affiliating them with terrorists violates their dignity, along with what has made and continues to make America great. In my November 18 message, I [President Dr. Timothy Law Snyder] reaffirmed that ‘our mission and our commitment to the dignity of all persons are pillars on which we rely.’ I join educators and citizens nationwide and oppose an order that limits our ability to fulfill LMU’s educational mission in a global context and endangers the freedom of movement for the students, faculty, and scholars who vitally enrich our diverse and inclusive academic community, while also separating many of them from beloved, supporting family members.”

Loyola University Chicago: “The last few weeks have highlighted numerous fault lines in our nation as a consequence of a divisive presidential election. The recent actions and executive orders of the new presidential administration are unprecedented and have left many outraged, confused, and fearful of their safety and future. I [President Dr. Jo Ann Rooney] want to reinforce that we are a community made stronger because of our diversity. All are equally valued, regardless of faith tradition, national origin, or immigration status. Secure in our Jesuit, Catholic identity, we understand and appreciate Loyola University Chicago as a home for all faiths, and the best traditions of our faith call upon us to welcome every person as a reflection of God.”

Loyola University Maryland: “The plight of refugees fleeing war-torn regions and extreme oppression is very real, and the images we see in the news and on social media are deeply troubling. This is, however, no time to feel helpless. ‘Many of those affected by our world’s greatest problems of violence and intolerance have become refugees, tragically forced from their homes, and denied their land and their freedom,’ Pope Francis tells us. ‘These are the people who need your help, who are crying out for you to hear them, and who are supremely worthy of our every effort on behalf of justice, peace, and solidarity.’ Embracing our Jesuit, Catholic mission, Loyola actively works to support refugees and new immigrants in the Baltimore area. Each year hundreds of faculty, staff, administrators, and students partner with local organizations to offer assistance to those members of our local community. We are steadfastly committed to assisting them, as we are committed to all those who are marginalized.”

Loyola University New Orleans: “Although only a few in our community have been directly impacted, this order is something that affects us all to our core. Our values support the need for nation-states to protect their citizens from legitimate threats. However, not only is the turning away of refugees in direct conflict with our Catholic, Jesuit values, but it is also contrary to our American ideals and constitutional rights as a free country that welcomes immigrants and does not discriminate on the basis of religion or national origin. And so, as a community that believes in social justice, we offer up these prayers for our society.”

Marquette University: “More than 135 years ago, Marquette University came to life in the middle of downtown Milwaukee with a mission – to provide accessible education for all, not some. At that time, Marquette served a booming German population that fled failed revolutions in Europe and came to America in search of democracy and human rights. Today, in 2017, we educate and serve students who come from 72 countries around the world. While the makeup of our university has changed over the past century, our Catholic, Jesuit mission remains our anchor. We are writing to you today to address the current moment in our United States history, particularly as it relates to proposed changes in our immigration policies. Our Catholic and Jesuit tradition calls us to speak out. We stand with our international students and any other student whose family is impacted by this evolving situation.”

Regis University: “This action has left many scared, confused and fearful for their safety and future. I [President Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J.] write to remind you that Regis University values everyone no matter their origin. It is our diversity that makes us stronger. Our values make us a place where people from all backgrounds can come together. As a premier Jesuit institution, I want to make it clear that we support all our international students, faculty and staff. Without support, guidance, acceptance or discourse we don’t live up to our Jesuit, Catholic morals and principles.”

Rockhurst University: “The recent executive order issued by President Trump suspending entry to the United States by those from seven countries has left many people scared and confused. While border security is of great concern to our nation and an obligation of our government to its citizens, I [President Rev. Thomas Curran, S.J.] hope we also recall the words of Pope Francis to a recent gathering of Jesuit alumni: ‘Remember that authentic hospitality is a profound gospel value that nurtures love and is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.'”

Saint Joseph’s University: “Our core values are strong. Saint Joseph’s University has, and always will, stand for the dignity of all human beings. Therefore, actions or language that deny or demean the dignity of any human being are in direct conflict with our mission and do not represent our values. Further, our mission statement in regard to inclusion and diversity is unequivocal and our commitment to it is as unwavering as ever: Striving to be an inclusive and diverse community that cares for the whole person…It is our intention to continue, now and always, to educate, support, promote and celebrate all of our students, faculty and staff, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.”

Saint Louis University: “At the end of last week, the President of the United States signed an executive order suspending entry into the U.S. from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days. Since then, federal courts have issued stays of that order, but there is significant confusion over what will happen moving forward. Despite this uproar, I [President Dr. Fred Pestello] want it to be abundantly clear that Saint Louis University supports our students, faculty, physicians, and staff from the affected countries and all who are immigrants, refugees, asylees or otherwise at risk; you are part of the SLU community. You are not alone. We stand with you. You make our University stronger.”

Saint Peter’s University: “We are a nation of immigrants. My father was an immigrant. I [President Dr. Eugene Cornacchia] am the grandson of immigrants. My mother-in-law was an immigrant. In my time teaching at Saint Peter’s University I have taught students from a wide variety of faith traditions and nationalities. They have greatly enriched the classroom experience for everyone and have also contributed to a richer social and cultural environment on campus, and in our nation and world. I am a better teacher, administrator, father and grandfather – a better human being – because I have come to know people of many different backgrounds.” [Statement e-mailed to University community]

Santa Clara University: “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.”

Seattle University: “As a Jesuit Catholic institution, Seattle University is deeply committed to the dignity and equality of every individual, to the common good and to developing leaders for a just and humane world. We are a welcoming and inclusive community that is steadfast in our commitment to provide a safe learning environment and support every student in our campus community—regardless of background, religion, beliefs, identity, country of origin or immigration status. We find enrichment and strength in our diversity. The university strongly opposes the discriminatory and misguided executive order issued by the Trump administration on non-U.S. citizens from select countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). We stand in full solidarity with our international students as well as faculty and staff who may be affected.”

Spring Hill College: “Spring Hill College is committed to protecting the rights and safety of all students, staff and faculty. One of my most important duties as president of Spring Hill College is to foster a campus community that embraces diversity, facilitates learning and an open exchange of ideas, respects privacy, and cultivates a safe environment free of discrimination. Together as a community, may we find strength in the words of Pope Francis to, “…remember that authentic hospitality is a profound gospel value that nurtures love…” Finally, we must all strive to eliminate the animosity and disdain for contrary viewpoints that currently divide our nation. We must approach our challenges with open minds and respect for the dignity and well-being of all. That is what this nation is about, and these are our values as a Jesuit, Catholic college.”

University of Detroit Mercy: “…We reaffirm at this time our essential mission to educate, serve and welcome everyone within our distinctive community as a Catholic university sponsored by the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy in Detroit for 140 and 75 years, respectively. Our students’ and employees’ varied backgrounds – ethnic, racial, religious, socio-economic, gender and nationalities – are our strength as an institution and a community.”

University of San Francisco: “As an academic community dedicated to the Jesuit commitments to social justice; free expression of inquiry, opinion, and ideas; and global scholarship, the University of San Francisco believes that the developments over the last few days regarding immigration and the treatment of refugees are in direct contradiction to our values. When the worldwide assembly of Jesuits gathered in Rome last year for its 36th General Congregation, they wrote that ‘in the face of attitudes hostile to displaced persons [including refugees and migrants] our faith invites the Society of Jesus to promote everywhere a more generous culture of hospitality.’”

University of Scranton: “The University of Scranton, a Jesuit and Catholic university, is united with Pope Francis, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Jesuit organizations nationally and worldwide in standing in solidarity with refugees, both here in Scranton and those continuing to flee violence. Welcoming neighbors from distant shores aligns with our American ideals and is a bedrock of our history in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well. The humanitarian needs are urgent and our compassion should abound to help men, women and children who have fled their homes in pursuit of safety.”

Xavier University: “We joined our fellow Jesuit and Catholic universities over the weekend in standing up against several executive orders related to immigration issues. Today, I [President Rev. Michael Graham, S.J.] want to specifically address the order that temporarily bars entry into the U.S. for all refugees, as well as citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. It’s important that as a community of learning and of faith, we support each other during this time, specifically members of our own international community here at Xavier.”

Additional statements on the Executive Order have been shared by our colleagues at Alpha Sigma NuAssociation of Catholic Colleges and Universities, AUSJAL (Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Latin America)California and Oregon Provinces of the Society of JesusCatholic Charities USAIgnatian Solidarity NetworkJesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, Jesuit Refugee Service / USA and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This page will continue to be updated over the next few days. Please contact Deanna Howes, AJCU’s Director of Communications, with any questions:

Contact: Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU | (202) 862-9893

As Presidents of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities we feel spiritually and morally compelled to raise a collective voice confirming our values and commitments as Americans and educators. We represent colleges and universities from across our nation with more than 215,000 students and 21,000 faculty, and over 2 million living alumni.

Grounded in our Catholic and Jesuit mission, we are guided by our commitment to uphold the dignity of every person, to work for the common good of our nation, and to promote a living faith that works for justice. We see our work of teaching, scholarship and the formation of minds and spirits as a sacred trust.
That trust prompts us to labor for solidarity among all people, and especially with and for the poor and marginalized of our society. That trust calls us to embrace the entire human family, regardless of their immigration status (1) or religious allegiance. And experience has shown us that our communities are immeasurably enriched by the presence, intelligence, and committed contributions of undocumented students, as well as of faculty and staff of every color and from every faith tradition.

    Therefore, we will continue working:
•    To protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campuses;
•    To promote retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA);
•    To support and stand with our students, faculty and staff regardless of their faith traditions;
•    To preserve the religious freedoms on which our nation was founded.

As we conclude this Year of Mercy, we make our own the aims enunciated by Pope Francis:
“Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.” (2)

We hope that this statement will inspire members of our University communities, as well as the larger national community, to promote efforts at welcome, dialogue, and reconciliation among all that share our land.  We welcome further conversation and commit ourselves to modeling the kind of discourse and debate that are at the heart of our nation’s ideals. And we promise to bring the best resources of our institutions – of intellect, reflection, and service – to bear in the task of fostering understanding in the United States at this particular time in our history.


John J. Hurley
Canisius University

Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J.
Creighton University

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.
Fordham University

Thayne M. McCulloh
Gonzaga University

Linda M. LeMura
Le Moyne College

Jo Ann Rooney
Loyola University Chicago

Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J.
Loyola University New Orleans

John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J.
Regis University

Mark C. Reed
Saint Joseph’s University

Eugene J. Cornacchia
Saint Peter’s University

Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
Seattle University

Antoine M. Garibaldi
University of Detroit Mercy

Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.
University of Scranton

Michael J. Graham, S.J.
Xavier University

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.
College of the Holy Cross

Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.
Fairfield University

John J. DeGioia
Georgetown University

Robert L. Niehoff, S.J.
John Carroll University

Timothy Law Snyder
Loyola Marymount University

Brian F. Linnane, S.J.
Loyola University Maryland

Michael Lovell
Marquette University

Thomas Curran, S.J.
Rockhurst University

Fred P. Pestello
Saint Louis University

Michael E. Engh, S.J.
Santa Clara University

Christopher P. Puto
Spring Hill College

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.
University of San Francisco

James Fleming, S.J.
Wheeling Jesuit University

Michael J. Sheeran, S.J.
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

(1) AJCU Presidents Statement in Support of Undocumented Individuals, January 2013 (
(2) Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for The World Day Of Migrants And Refugees (5 August 2014).