LACEY, Wash. — In light of uncertainties around the status of undocumented students as the country’s administration changes hands, Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., is among the 116 leaders of Catholic colleges and universities nationwide to date who have signed a letter supporting the undocumented students in their college communities protected against deportation by the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
The letter reads, in part, “Many of us count among our students young men and women who are undocumented, their families having fled violence and instability. These students have met the criteria of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, issued in 2012. We, the undersigned presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, express hope that the students in our communities who have qualified for DACA are able to continue their studies without interruption and that many more students in their situation will be welcome to contribute their talents to our campuses.”
The letter, made public on Nov. 30, underscores the signers’ solidarity with undocumented students and their support for a continuation of DACA, a policy that shields from deportation those immigrants who arrived in this country illegally before their 16th birthday and who meet other policy criteria.
“By adding our name to ACCU’s letter, we continue the Saint Martin’s tradition and mission of serving students from diverse backgrounds, especially the underprivileged in our society. Our Catholic Benedictine heritage demands that all are to be welcomed as Christ,” Heynderickx said.
The leadership of all three Washington Catholic universities – Saint Martin’s, Seattle University and Gonzaga University – have signed the statement. Read the statement here.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
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