At Georgetown University, our learning communities thrive as a result of our commitments to diversity, social justice, civic engagement and cultural pluralism. As professionals, we must actively promote unfettered access towards educational attainment and achievement for our diverse populations, and stand committed to nurturing all aspects of students’ development while engaging in polemic conversations in a thoughtful, intentional way. In faith and solidarity, we ask that all staff and faculty at Georgetown University categorically support its undocumented student populations and help protect against racism, discrimination, bigotry and the realities of numerous immigration challenges, and advocate to offset federal policies that seek to penalize immigrant youth and divide students from their families. As well, we ask that the university support all its employees who may also be affected by federal policies, who are in various temporary protected status categories and whose future is also ambiguous. The 2016 Presidential election has created a climate of uncertainty for immigrant populations across the US that could have deleterious and irreversible outcomes for future generations of Georgetown students and families—and, therefore, for the university itself.
As well, we stand in support of the 2012 executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has granted many young adults and youth the ability to be gainfully employed and pursue advanced educational opportunities, as contributing members of society. A repeal of this order, without a viable and long-term alternative in place, would be ill-advised and disastrous to many families who are currently employed in various professional industries across the U.S.
By reaffirming President DeGioia’s stance to create a context where undocumented students “can succeed, free from constraint or limitation,” we must be sensitive to the specific considerations this population faces, that may require legal services and significant increases in student support services as they relate to funding and emotional well-being. Furthermore, we must work with our university and local law enforcement agencies to ensure protections from physical harm for all members of our community; and work to identify campus safe spaces that provide campus community members spaces for reflection and foster dialogue amongst students and staff to promote inclusivity, social justice and peace.
As members of the Undocumented Student Task Force, we ask our colleagues and friends to join us in solidarity as we continue to learn the parameters of federal policies, and advocate for the best interest of all of our students, regardless of immigration status.