photo courtesy of CBS Boston
On September 1, shortly after College of the Holy Cross students arrived back on campus for the fall semester, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President, issued a letter to the campus community regarding President Trump’s impending decision on whether to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A program which granted clemency to undocumented immigrants, DACA allowed those brought illegally to the United States as children to receive both a work permit and a renewable period of deferred action on deportation.
In his letter, President Boroughs expressed his concern for the possible repeal of DACA, describing how this would be inherently contradictory to our mission as a Jesuit college. He also emphasized the resources available to Holy Cross students affected by President Trump’s coming decision, stating, “Here on our campus, the Offices of Diversity and Inclusion, International Students, Multicultural Education, and Human Resources, as well as our class deans, chaplains and counselors have been and will continue to provide support and referrals to individuals in our community who are touched in any way by this decision or other immigration policies.” Father Boroughs went on further to say, “We have made legal advice available to students who might be directly impacted by immigration policy changes and we will continue to do so. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has continued to update the resource page on our website that lists immigration-related resources and support services.”
In addition, the Student Government Association responded to Father Borough’s letter with an e-mail of their own addressed to the campus community, stating, “We, as members of the Student Government Association, want to express our solidarity with our country’s immigrant youth and specifically support any students on campus who are in any way personally impacted by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”
President Trump, who was elected partially due to his stances on immigration, has delivered on some promises he made on the campaign trail. He has since decided to halt the program; an act which could put nearly 800,000 young people residing in the United States at risk. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month that the policy implemented by the Obama administration would begin to slow down in March of next year.
The Holy Cross community, however, has not been deterred by this fact, with outpourings of support being shown for both DACA and Dreamers, the name given to children under the protection of DACA. On September 5, the Holy Cross student organization Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) organized a phone-a-thon during which students called their local representatives, hoping to express concern for the termination of DACA and to encourage their representatives to create a more permanent system of protection for young immigrants to the United States. Additionally, SGA sent a group of Holy Cross students to Boston on Saturday, September 16 to a DACA rally, during which protesters demonstrated in support of Dreamers and undocumented immigrants. The crowd, which numbered around 500, began near the State House on Saturday and continued to march to the John F. Kennedy Federal Building.
Although the end of DACA is drawing near and the fate of nearly 800,000 Dreamers remains uncertain, for the Holy Cross community, the fight is not yet over. Faculty and staff, students, families, and alumni alike continue to show support in whatever means possible, to engage in dialogue about this issue, and to push for a better solution for America’s undocumented youth.