On Monday, Jan. 30, STU President delivered this message to the University community:
Dear University Community:
This weekend I joined 500 university administrators at the annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) in Washington, DC. The Board of Directors, which I chair, issued a statement concerning the executive order on immigration policy issued by the President on Friday.
The statement received overwhelming support from the Catholic college and university presidents who were in attendance at the association's annual meeting, which concluded today. I am issuing this statement to our St. Thomas University community as my official response on behalf of our university, as well.
ACCU Statement on Recent Executive Order by the President
As the voice of Catholic higher education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities expresses its strong opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump concerning U.S. immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with other Catholic and higher education organizations that recognize the moral obligation of our country to assist migrants, particularly those who are fleeing any kind of persecution.
In referring to the order’s halt of refugee admissions, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, "We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. … We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones." (Read Bishop Vasquez’s full statement online.)
Pope Francis has said that “authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” As ACCU gathers this weekend in Washington, DC to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue.