illegal immigrants

Citing “Gospel values of peace, love, reconciliation and justice,” a Catholic college president has offered to house and school the recent influx of illegal immigrants. 

“As a Catholic institution … we are proud to be the first higher educational institution in the nation to publicly commit to supporting young refugees from Central America,” Dr. David Fike, president of Detroit’s Marygrove College, stated at a recent news conference.

Fike said Marygrove will commit college resources to provide education, food, shelter and other assistance to the refugees, MLive reports.

Pike also called on President Obama to show “moral leadership.”

“He said the Catholic college is prepared to offer scholarships to ‘college-ready students’ as well as provide food and shelter for other children if the Obama administration agrees to recognize the thousands of children crossing the U.S. border from Central America as refugees,” Campus Reform reports.

Fike urged other college leaders to follow his lead, reports the Detroit News, noting education leaders should band together and combat widely publicized opposition against the immigrants.

“Our Christian values mean we cannot and will not be complicit,” Fike said.

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OPINION

I recall a very striking – and very telling – incident from my time as a student senator for Loyola University Chicago.

It’s a tale that exposes the hypocrisy that plagues many Catholic institutions, and the troubling trend in which Catholic universities are all too often Catholic in name only.

Last spring, our Unified Student Government Association passed a resolution titled “The Undocumented Student Act” that called for administrators to “support the presence and integration of” and provide financial aid and scholarships to students in the country illegally.

The university already had a policy of accepting and enrolling students in the country illegally, but this was meant to underscore it.

“The university administration should create a formal admissions process for undocumented students, complete with legal counseling, psychological support, and career advising,” the resolution stated. “Most, if not all, undocumented students live in constant fear of deportation, denying them the opportunity to develop their talents through co-curricular participation.”

It cited the Jesuit tenet Cura Personalis, which calls for the care of the entire human being, to make its case. During the debate on the resolution the banner of social justice was unfurled and waved proudly around. The bill passed 23 to 3, with 4 abstentions.

Inspired by this vote, I decided to tackle this issue of social justice on campus as well. As a senator at my Jesuit university, I too was in a position to write, propose, and vote on legislation.

I collaborated with my fellow senators, made compromises, and wrote a bill that secured the endorsements of two important subcommittees.

The following week I proposed the bill, titled “The Social Justice Clarification Amendment: To Provide a Definition of Social Justice for the Purposes of the Unified Student Government Association.”

It attempted to define what social justice was, exactly, for the purposes of the student government and the identity of our Catholic institution. It asked that The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, as well as any relevant document issued by the Jesuits, be used as a guiding document for future resolutions regarding social justice.

Ultimately the bill defined the term as “providing the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.”

Many senators scoffed at my legislation during the debate.

“By presenting a church doctrine in our legislation, I think this is sending the wrong message to our student body,” one student senator had said.

“We need to remember that there are (students) on this campus whose values do not align with the Catholic social teachings,” chimed another.

In the end, it failed. The final vote was 19 to 9, with 2 abstentions.

Their objections about the Catholic identity of the bill were telling coming from students leaders at a Catholic university – especially when they claimed the term for themselves just two weeks prior. But failure is nonetheless bound to happen when Leftism and political correctness trump the historical underpinnings and spiritual authority of institutions like Loyola, the Jesuits, and the Catholic Church.

I brought this bill forward because if a word or term has no definition – if it is a phrase that, as some students suggested “everyone knows when they hear”- it can be crafted or manipulated to meet whatever end people want. And that is dangerous indeed.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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IMAGE: Jes/Flickr

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Some students in the country illegally have complained that the millions of dollars the University of California system recently pledged to help them earn a college degree will come by way of student loans instead of grants.

As UC officials discuss specifics on how the $5 million UC President Janet Napolitano recently budgeted to support undocumented students will be allocated – much of which will go to student loan programs, it’s been decided - some student activists have bemoaned that it’s not fair to strap stressed out, disadvantaged students in the country illegally with college debt.

“We think that the 5 million dollars will have an impact if the money goes directly into the pockets of undocumented students,” By Any Means Necessary campus activist group leader David Douglass told The Daily Californian in an email.

The Californian goes on to report:

Sophomore Ivan Villasenor Madriz, an undocumented student, spoke with representatives from the UC Office of the President and other undocumented student representatives across the UC campuses in a conference call the evening of Dec. 18.

Madriz said the students raised concerns about the use of the funds for loans rather than other types of aid such as grants and work-study. He said loans should not be considered “aid” because they are only increasing student debt and putting more pressure on students.

“The loans that are given out are making one hole to fill another,” he said. “It defeats the purpose of so-called ‘financial aid.’ ”

IMAGE: Chris Gold/Flickr

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Reuters reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said he will sign a bill offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. who have attended at least three years of high school in the state.

“The most important thing is for these young men and women of our state, who we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their K-12 education, we’re now going to give them an opportunity in an affordable way to be able to continue their education,” Christie said.

The Democrat-controlled state legislature has already voted to approve the new law and it awaits the Republican governor’s signature. Christie vetoed a previous version of the bill that would have also allowed some illegal immigrants to qualify for government-funded financial aid.

“This will be once again an example of New Jersey showing how you can come to bipartisan agreement.”

Read more.

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The Marietta Daily Journal reports:

DECATUR — A judge said Thursday that he needs more information and time to decide the case of a group of young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and want the Georgia university system to grant them in-state tuition.

The roughly three dozen young immigrants have been granted temporary permission to stay in the U.S. under an Obama administration policy introduced last year. They filed a lawsuit in August asking a judge to instruct the university system’s Board of Regents to allow them to qualify for in-state tuition.

Read more.

h/t: Fox News

 

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The UC Berkeley student government has banned the term “illegal immigrant” from its discourse, deeming the phrase racist, offensive, unfair and derogatory.

In an unanimous vote, student senators passed a resolution that stated the word “illegal” is “racially charged,” “dehumanizes” people, and contributes to “punitive and discriminatory actions aimed primarily at immigrants and communities of color.”

The “resolution in support of drop the I-word campaign” was approved 18 to 0 with one abstention on Oct. 30, according to a copy of the meeting’s minutes obtained by The College Fix.

Its approval marks at least the second time this semester that a public university’s student government has voted to eradicate the phrase. UCLA passed a nearly identical measure in late August.

There are an estimated 900 students in the country illegally who are currently enrolled in the 10-campus, University of California system, according to UC officials. These students live in “fear” because former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano is now president of the UC system, according to the resolution, which aims to “create a safe campus environment for all students.”

“The ‘I’ word is legally inaccurate since being out of status is a civil rather than criminal infraction,” states the resolution, which notes some journalists have stopped using the term.

“No human being is illegal,” the resolution continues. “ ‘Foreign nationals,’ ‘undocumented immigrants,’ ‘immigrants without papers’ and ‘immigrants seeking status’ are examples of terms we can use that do not dehumanize people.”

The resolution also calls for administrators and faculty to attend an “UndocuAlly training workshop.”

Several student senators praised the resolution, the meeting’s minutes state.

Student Sen. Wendy Pacheco said it was not just symbolic, but aimed to shift how people see their “fellow human beings,” that it’s not OK for someone to feel comfortable calling another “illegal,” while student Sen. Sean Tan said discouraging the word will help ease the negative psychological harm undocumented students face by the label.

The lone abstention came from student Sen. Solomon Nwoche.

Nwoche said while he sympathized with the situation, he thinks the resolution does not accomplish anything substantial. He added he was disappointed in how a student who spoke against the resolution at an earlier meeting was treated by student senators, who laughed or had their backs turned when the lone protestor addressed the dais.

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IMAGE: Chris Gold NY/ Flickr

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