On behalf of the University, I would like to express my deep concern and sadness about President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to eliminate protections for its beneficiaries. His executive action needlessly endangers the lives and futures of nearly 800,000 people. Moreover, I call on Congress to enact a law that will ensure full and permanent security for DACA participants. Two pieces of current legislation — the BRIDGE Act and the DREAM Act — could, with appropriate modifications, accomplish that goal.
Seton Hall is home to just under 10,000 students from many backgrounds and nationalities. All of them — regardless of citizenship status — are essential to the vitality of our community. These young people are committed to making a difference in our world and in our country and deserve a chance at all that America has stood for since its founding. Since the University’s founding in 1856, we have measured individuals by the quality of their ideas and extent of their effort, not by the country of their birth.
To that end, Seton Hall has repeatedly affirmed its support for DACA, most recently through the “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and Our Undocumented Immigrant Students” and the “Statement from Leaders in Catholic Higher Education.” As outlined in the latter document, Seton Hall will stand with members of our community who are harmed by the elimination of DACA through campus counseling and ministry support, through resources provided by our law school, and through whatever other services we have at our disposal.
As a Catholic university, Seton Hall is charged with abiding by the teachings of Jesus Christ, who urged His followers to protect the most vulnerable among us. That naturally includes individuals who live in fear of being separated from their families and forcibly removed from what may be the only country they have ever known. I urge anyone at Seton Hall who feels threatened in this way to reach out to Campus Ministry and CAPS counselors for assistance.
Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D.