Sacred Heart University makes statement on immigration policies

Below is a statement made from Sacred Heart University regarding immigration policies.

Dear members of the Sacred Heart University community:

On Friday, Jan. 27 President Trump signed an executive order that immediately denied citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. It also stopped the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.

This order goes against everything that Sacred Heart University stands for. We are Catholic in tradition and spirit. We uphold the God-given freedom and dignity of every human person. This is true both inside and outside the classroom. It is a living tradition we must uphold and a hallmark of who we are. Inspired by the ecumenical spirit of the Second Vatican Council, since our founding in 1963, we have welcomed men and women of all religious traditions, beliefs and ethnicities, who share our concerns for truth, scholarship, the dignity of the human person, freedom and the betterment of human society. We have always known that our commitment to diversity makes us stronger.

We know that some of our international students are directly impacted by the order. The staff of our Offices of Global Affairs, Graduate, International and Veteran Student Affairs, International Admissions and Immigration and Support Services are available to help. They will continue to follow the ramifications of the order and will brief students as the situation evolves. The staff of Campus Ministry is also available to all students.

Unfortunately, we need to advise students who are here from the nations outlined in the order not to leave the country at this time.

Tomorrow, (Tuesday, Jan. 31) we will hold a service in the Chapel at 2:30 p.m. entitled “Welcome the Immigrant and the Refugee: In Solidarity with our Muslim Students.” I hope that those of you who do not have a commitment at that time will attend and show your support.

We are committed to ensuring that all our students know they are valued members of the SHU community and that they feel welcome and safe. This is — and always has been — a very special community where we care for one another. Today, more than ever, it is imperative that we are sensitive and caring to those around us. Please take the time to reach out to those in the Sacred Heart University community who are affected by this order.

John J. Petillo, Ph.D.

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