CFPL to Unveil Undocumented Student Study
Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life, in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research & Learning and Santa Clara University, have undertaken a major, multi-year Ford Foundation-funded study to understand the complex lives and issues undocumented students face in higher education, with a focus on the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. The hope is to improve the institutional practices for undocumented students at Jesuit institutions nationwide, while presenting a way of proceeding on immigration that informs and helps shape the national educational discourse.
The findings of the study, "Immigration: Undocumented Students in Higher Education," will be released in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 26. The event, to take place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, will bring together Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) presidents, faculty and administrators, national legislators and students. In a gesture of solidarity, a group of AJCU presidents have signed a moral statement to work together to help undocumented students.
The challenges these young people contend with are considerable, researchers said. In the United States today, many undocumented students - bright, talented, and motivated young men and women who were brought into this country by parents without the authorization of the federal government or who entered the U.S. legally but overstayed their visas - find themselves prevented from developing their full potential, limited in their ability to contribute to the civic life of their surroundings, and living in fear of being deported.
Ultimately, the hope is to make a substantive contribution to the common good of the nation from a principled Catholic perspective, and suggest a new model of leadership in this area. This will be done within a framework of exploring the obstacles, needs, and desires of impacted students, with a goal to provide them with a more fulfilling educational experience.
The Center for Faith and Public Life studies areas where religion and socio-political issues intersect. For more information about the center’s work and this endeavor, please visit www.fairfield.edu/immigrantstudent.
Pictured above, the Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., director of Fairfield's Center for Faith and Public Life.