Message from President Wildes on Executive Order on Immigration

Dear Loyola community,

As you are aware, on Friday, January 27, the White House issued an executive order that immediately suspended entry to the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days and halted the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. 

The situation continues to evolve as federal courts have issued temporary stays and the ACLU and others strive to reverse this order. However, out of an abundance of caution, we strongly recommend that foreign nationals from the affected countries avoid all international travel for the immediate future and consult an immigration attorney if travel is absolutely necessary.  At this point, we do not anticipate that those individuals with existing lawful status will be impacted by the executive order.

It may take months, however, for the administration to develop clear policies regarding standards for entry into the United States, and in the meantime, great care, patience, tolerance, and vigilance will be necessary. Students, faculty, and staff who have questions should reach out to Debbie Danna, director of the Center for International Education, at 864-7550 or danna@loyno.edu.

Although only a few in our community have been directly impacted, this order is something that affects us all to our core. Our values support the need for nation-states to protect their citizens from legitimate threats. However, not only is the turning away of refugees in direct conflict with our Catholic, Jesuit values, but it is also contrary to our American ideals and constitutional rights as a free country that welcomes immigrants and does not discriminate on the basis of religion or national origin. And so, as a community that believes in social justice, we offer up these prayers for our society.

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me." - Matthew 25:34-35
 
Loving God, who created humankind in all our diversity as an expression of your grandeur, bestow on us the courage always to see your face in the face of the stranger, the migrant, and the refugee. Give comfort to the more than 30,000 people worldwide who are forcibly displaced from their homes every day because of violence that is an affront to you. And heal the wounds of national, racial, and religious division so that we may always choose compassion over fear, hospitality over indifference, and human dignity over political expedience. Amen.

"You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian. You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25," which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger. "It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian but do these things, I’m a hypocrite." Pope Francis

With prayers and best wishes,

Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.
President