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University of St. Thomas School of Law Hosted Immigration Discussion

Posted: March 17, 2017

I recently attended a discussion at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. It featured Constitutional Scholars, Immigration Scholars and the Dean of the Law School. The focus was on recent Executive Orders on immigration. It was a discussion grounded on the intersection of faith, justice and the law. There were so many issues I had not considered.

The Dean mentioned that many of their colleagues at Universities around the country were calling back staff and students, because of the uncertainty around their immigration status and rights with new legal interpretations. This part of the discussion was not focused on undocumented individuals or families; it was discussing the ramifications of individuals who had student visas, green cards or visas for academic and employment purposes.

This discussion made me think of my son who is currently studying at a University in London. He is meeting students from all over the world. He has also been able to travel to several other countries using his student visa. This has given him an incredible opportunity to experience language, food and culture from many European nations. This cultural experience has enriched his academic experience and given him a new perspective.

UST, like many institutions and companies, is focused on diversity, equity and Catholic values. Their goal is to bring people together from around the world. These are important values for institutions, and benefit the community at large.

One of the law professors also talked about undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of our community who are consumed by the fear of deportation. Many came here as children. The US is the only country they know. They see themselves as Americans. Many attorneys have been working pro-bono on behalf of immigrants who are caught up in these situations. As people of faith, we are called to a compassionate response to these individuals and their families. These are complex situations the professors explained.

--Maura Schnorbach