University of San Francisco (ASUSF) decided to allocate a portion of its annual budget each year to assist undocumented students with non-tuition dollars, most often used for the growingly expensive cost of living within the Bay Area. One year prior, in 2015, USF’s School of Law launched its Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic to represent unaccompanied children and migrant women with children in Northern California and the Central Valley.
Altogether, these acts of solidarity demonstrate how Jesuit institutions have strived for greater acceptance and empowerment of migrants and refugees. Contributing to this effort, the collection of essays in this book helps contextualize the intricacy and brokenness of our global migration system through a lens of history, psychology, law, education, and theology. In the first essay, Kristin Heyer from Boston College delves into Catholic migration ethics and discusses the moral and policy considerations for unaccompanied minors who seek asylum at the U.S. southern border. Then, Professor and Chair of USF’s Department of International and Multicultural Education, Monisha Bajaj, reviews how schools can be sites of refuge for newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth. Writing as a clinical psychologist, Daniela Domínguez reflects on her experience accompanying 15 USF Counseling Psychology students to Puebla, Mexico and calls for greater partnership amongst national and international Jesuit institutions in order to protect the human rights of migrant children and their families.
Associate Professor of Education and Co-Chair of USF’s Task Force to Support Undocumented Students, Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, shares how deportation is an educational issue by re-telling the stories of three young people whose educational lives have been directly impacted by deportation or the threat of deportation. Emily Robinson of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ Immigrant Justice Clinic, offers a legal analysis of steps taken under the Trump administration to end protections for child migrants, while shifting resources so that they are treated and prosecuted as adults. Coordinator for the Master in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy program at USF’s San José campus, Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga draws on experiences leading a 10 group of graduate students to McAllen, Texas and describes the harms to the mental health of immigrant children while held in detention. Finally, Julio Moreno provides a historical breakdown of middle-class Americans and the rise of anti-immigrant groups in the U.S.
The stories, findings, and reflections on the subsequent pages should offer both valuable insight and genuine frustration. Following the three steps of the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm, which calls us to experience, reflect, and act, means that taking the time to learn about the grave injustices embedded within the fabric of the U.S. immigration system is only the first step. Most important will be the manner in which you decide to respond.
Domínguez, Daniela, "Ignatian Banners of Hope and Support for Recently Detained Immigrant Families" (2019). Psychology. 58.