Dominican University’s response to Department of Homeland Security vs. Regents of the University of California (in support of undocumented students):
It was almost 15 years ago that Dominican University first began providing academic and financial support for undocumented students. Those early efforts to advance immigration reform were single-minded and optimistic. Today, the response of the academic community to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is more complicated.
SCOTUS’ decision to block the rescinding of DACA provides enormous relief, hope, and continuing opportunities for thousands of young adults, for which we are all deeply grateful. And we are especially proud of the advocacy of Dominican students and alumnae/i in this regard. But the Court’s ruling is a procedural one, not an endorsement, and its impact is temporary, which means the pathway to citizenship for alternatively documented and undocumented students remains unpaved.
Still, the current momentum for change is hopeful. The diverse and increasingly unified voices of the anti-racism movement rightfully take us to task for our lack of progress — and demand an end to discriminatory practices in education, health care, housing, employment, and the like.
Dominican University seeks to be a leader in this equity journey — to more aggressively reform its offerings so that a Dominican education is inclusive and excellent for all students, as outlined in our strategic plan and in the action steps of our Sanctuary Campus Covenant. We will continue to vigorously support our undocumented students and advocate for constructive immigration reform.
Ultimately, it is the tenacity and drive of thoughtful, courageous students that is at the heart of all this. As Dominican higher educators, our charge is threefold — to consistently challenge issues of systemic injustice, to encourage the rigorous study of these issues, and to provide students with the understanding, space and empathy to take action.
Donna Carroll is president of Dominican University.