‘We Stand With You’

February 7, 2017

By Marty Carlino

In response to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, Dominican University held a university-wide forum to try and calm the fears and concerns of not only undocumented and foreign students, but all students.

The forum was held Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Bluhm Lecture Hall in front of a packed audience. The forum featured a panel of experts that included, Sister Bernardine Karge, OP, an immigration attorney and a member of the Board of Trustees, as well as three immigration lawyers and a community activist.

The forum opened with dean of students, Trudi Goggin sharing the hopes of the university to provide resources and information as well as communicate regularly with any student who may be anxious about their status.

President Donna Carroll then addressed the audience, reassuring everyone that Dominican will remain committed to its students. Carroll stated the university will continued its advocacy for undocumented students and remained focused on the safety of all students.

Carroll concluded by saying, “when the going gets tough…we come together in the spirit of caritas and veritas.”

As previously reported by the Star, Dominican officially declared itself a sanctuary campus on Dec. 16.

In an email sent out to all students, faculty and staff, Carroll assured students of the university’s status.

Carroll said: “I write now to assure you that Dominican University, as a designated Sanctuary Campus, will do everything possible to support members of our community at risk.”

Carroll also stated the university’s opposition to the executive order. “This executive‎ order runs contrary to everything that we believe as a faith-based, liberal arts university — and as a diverse, democratic society,” Carroll said in the email.

Following the statements from both Goggin and Carroll, each member of the panel had the opportunity to share their expertise with the audience. Each panel member discussed the details of the President’s executive order and how it may possibly affect Dominican students.

The specific provisions of Trump’s executive order call for a temporary travel ban from seven Muslim countries that include: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.

The order also bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting settlement in the United States for the length of 120 days.

However, details regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy have students around the nation worried. Former president Barack Obama issued the DACA executive order in June of 2012. The policy allows undocumented immigrants to the United States to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation as well as eligibility for a work permit.

Prior to his election, the Trump administration threatened to rescind DACA, however the administration has since backed off such claims, but has recently said that it is still a possibility.

If eliminated, the removal of DACA would strike close to Dominican, as a recent report from Oak Park’s Wednesday Journal suggest that between 5 to 10 percent of Dominican students are undocumented.

According to a report from the Washington Post, the latest development in regards to Trump’s executive order saw a federal judge in Washington state declare that he would temporarily block enforcement. The ruling came from Judge James Robert

The panel concluded with a question and answer session with the attorneys.