A few days after Donald Trump moved into the White House, he issued an executive fiat imposing a “moratorium” on granting visas to human beings from certain nations—all of them predominantly Muslim. In addition, he also blocked many residents of this country from other nations from returning, began the process to build his wall on the Mexican border, and halted the resettlement of some refugees.
Other elements of the order included a demand that colleges and universities with students and researchers from foreign countries in the United States provide the names of those individuals to the Department of Homeland Security. Furthermore, the order demanded the schools to provide the immigration status of students in an effort to pinpoint undocumented students and deport them.
Some schools responded to Trump’s order by telling students who fit into this category that they would be studying the Trump order before designing a response. Other colleges and universities s began compiling lists to provide to the government. Still others refused to go along with the order. Foremost among the latter was the University of Michigan, telling its community that they would not abide with Trump’s order and that campus police would not turn over immigration information to DHS or its subsidiary agencies.
In a time such as this, when the national government is intent on denying not only civil rights, but basic human rights to education, security in one’s person and non-discrimination, there is only one stance for a college like St. Michael’s to take. That stance is non-cooperation with orders and laws that would deny those rights. Furthermore, St. Michael’s began begin to put in place policies that would make the campus a sanctuary for those threatened by official forces intent on enforcing the policies inferred by Trump’s orders.
St. Paul wrote: “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence… For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”(Galatians 5:14)
St. Michael’s can ill afford to do otherwise.
AT THE DURICK LIBRARY