Holy Cross Stands with Migrants

Ethan Bachand ‘22

Chief News Editor

On Tuesday, November 12th, the Holy Cross community gathered in Hogan Campus Center to demonstrate their support for migrants. This was in response to the beginning of Supreme Court hearings on the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program the same day.

Originally planned to take place on the Hoval, rain during the day pushed the gathering indoors to Hogan 1. Students, faculty, and administration began to gather next to the bookstore around 3:15 before the 3:30 start time. Approximately 100 members of the Holy Cross community formed a horseshoe around

Marty Kelly, Associate Chaplin and SPUD Advisor, opened with a welcoming message to gather the group’s attention. Following that, students took center stage, as individuals who would possibly be afflicted by the elimination of the DACA program shared their experience. Along with these personal accounts, prayers and poems were offered to round out the program.

Originally implemented in 2012 by President Barak Obama, the program allowed for people who immigrated to the country illegally as children to remain in the United States. In 2017, the current administration looked to end the program by prohibiting any more renewals, which last 2 years. Now, the issue is in front of the Supreme Court for oral arguments.

Speaking to The Spire after the event, Kelly said that “I was really pleased to see a full house here and lots of people from different parts of the college; faculty, staff, administration, and a lot of students supporting the event.”

One of the aspects that made the event special was the collaboration of a variety of student groups as well as offices of the college. Officially put on by Pax Christi, the list also includes: the Latin American Student Organization, Student Government Association, the Office of Multicultural Education, Student Programs for Urban Development, College Chaplains, the Spanish Department, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

When asked about what it means to have so many different entities involved with the project, Kelly said “That was actually the beauty of it. We didn’t start with any particular idea we just knew we wanted to do something, and to bring the right people to the table. People came from many different organizations and offered their ideas and their input. That’s when great things happen, when we allow people to be creative and come together.”

Caroline Babinski ’20, SGA Co-President, said to The Spire after the gathering ““I thought it was so great to see so many students involved and see so many students go out. It was a great location, Hogan 1, people were coming by, but I thought a lot of students were engaged, and it was really cool to be able to hear other student’s experiences and see so many people engaged with something that affects all of us here on the hill and also our greater community in the United States.”

Also at the event was SGA Director of Social Justice Katarina Blonksi ’20, who said about the event “I was especially impressed with the range of people, the diversity of the people; faculty, staff, students, students of color, white students. Everyone coming together and trying to recognize this as a structural issue, and how us as a Holy Cross community could better address this.”

SGA Executive Secretary Maggie Hannick ’23 added to the sentiment: “It was one of those events that used emotion and personal stories to get the human side of it, as well as promoted action to cause a needed social change.”

The future of DACA may be unknown, however at Holy Cross the mission to continue to fight for Dreamer’s rights lives on. As Mr. Kelly said, “We definitely don’t want this to be a one-time event, we want there to be activism, and we want students to continue to advocate on the issues related to immigration.”

Below are statements from Rev. Philip L. Boroughs S.J., president, and Dean Matthew Eggemeier:

Dean Matthew Eggemeier:

“First and foremost I was deeply moved by the narratives that our undocumented students shared during the event—their pain, their struggles, and their hopes. I think that it is important that we frame the situation properly: we are currently experiencing not a migration crisis but a crisis of solidarity in relation to the plight of migrants around the world. Central to the Catholic tradition is the call to welcome the stranger and practice and inclusive hospitality towards others and so it was encouraging to see so many students, staff, faculty, and administrators come out to express solidarity with migrants and opposition policies that would contradict this core commitment of the faith.”

Father Boroughs:

“I am sorry I am not able to be with you in person today, but please know that I am in full support of the shared cause of supporting DACA recipients and immigrant families. I remain deeply troubled by efforts to end the DACA program and by other recent changes to immigration enforcement that have created anxiety, fear and despair among our immigrant, undocumented, and international students, faculty and staff members. I am proud Holy Cross is joining today with Jesuit institutions across our nation to raise our voices in support of those who have lived with uncertainty and fear for too long. Here on campus, we will continue to support anyone in our community who may be affected by changes to the DACA program or other immigration laws. The Offices of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, International Students, Multicultural Education, and Human Resources, as well as our class deans, chaplains and counselors are all available to support you in times of need. Our mission calls upon us to commit ourselves to our common humanity, where each person has been created in the image and likeness of God. Today, I stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are threatened by these recent actions, and to call upon all our leaders to find a path forward that trades fear and anxiety for love, respect and dignity for all persons.”

Cover photo by Davey Sullivan ’22.

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