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Mount Saint Mary’s University statement on DACA

Wednesday, Sept. 6 / Los Angeles —
At Mount Saint Mary’s University, we are dismayed by the White House’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  We consider the decision to be, in the words of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and our Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, “reprehensible.”

As a University of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we are called to serve “all persons without distinction.” We see this as our sacred responsibility. We are proud to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution where more than half of our students are the first in their families to attend college. We treasure the contributions that our Latina students make, and we celebrate the diversity, creativity and determination of our student body.

As President Ann McElaney-Johnson stated, “At Mount Saint Mary’s, we know that our diversity is our strength. We are thankful that each of our students imbues our community with the power of their own experiences and perspectives. No matter what happens at the national level, we are committed to providing an opportunity for all of our students to realize their dreams — as we continue to make diversity, equity and inclusion foundational elements at Mount Saint Mary’s University.”

Back in November 2016, President McElaney-Johnson signed a pledge, along with more than 640 other presidents of U.S. colleges and universities, that called for DACA to be upheld and expanded. The signees of that pledge stated then — and still believe now — that support of DACA students (and undocumented immigrant students) is both a “moral imperative” and a “national necessity.” A member of the Board of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), McElaney-Johnson also joined presidents from Catholic universities across the country in an appeal to President Trump to protect and support our DACA students.

In light of Tuesday’s White House announcement, McElaney-Johnson called upon the Mount community to support those students affected by the cancellation of DACA. “I urge us all to speak up on behalf of these students and provide our support and encouragement to each other and the youth of our nation.”

To that end, Mount Saint Mary’s has been committed to providing up-to-date immigration-related resources on campus and online through our Student Affairs and Campus Ministry teams, as well as our Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Many of these resources have been made available thanks to the assistance of our community partner at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic.

The Mount community has come together in support of all students and families affected by this decision. President McElaney-Johnson expresses the Mount’s commitment to our students and to students across the nation: “I want to reassure you that the entire Mount community stands behind you — and beside you — in these times.”

About Mount Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world.

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