McShane Pledges Support to Refugees and Immigrants in Light of Executive Order

By Theresa Schliep 

Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, released an email to the student body this Sunday showing support to refugees and immigrants that may be affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order.

There are at least seven Fordham students who may be affected by this legislation, according to the email.

The executive order prohibits the entrance of citizens from seven Middle Eastern, majority-Muslim countries for the next 90 days: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It also suspends the admissions of refugees for the next 120 days, but gives preferential treatment to Christians under persecution in the Middle East.

Students, professors, visitors, refugees and green-card holders were stopped at United States airports last night, according to The New York Times.

Omar Afridi, FCRH ’17, president of Muslim Students Association, said McShane’s statement provides comfort, especially to those students who he knows are affected by Trump’s executive order.

“I read the email by Father McShane and found it comforting,” said Afridi. “Although I’m not personally in contact with anyone who is in direct conflict with the order President Trump passed, I know there are member in our community who are, and are understandably frightened for their families. I admire Father McShane for standing up for our community members, and I know many of us took comfort in his kind and humble words.

Kate Marinkovich, GSB ’18, a student whose mom practices Islam, said Trump’s executive action “provoked an incredibly significant reaction out of me.”

She said McShane’s message  embodies Fordham’s Jesuit mission.

“The oppression that his actions carry affect such a large body of innocent humans. It is assuring to know that my university stands behind those affected, and I appreciate Fr. McShane’s message. It is easy to feel helpless in situations like these, but in reality these are the occasions where we must rise to action and fight for the fundamental rights of our communities,” said Marinkovich. “I chose to attend a Jesuit university for its progressive social perspective, and I’m glad to see it in written form. I hope the Fordham community can unite to fight against not only this inhumane order, but all others.”

In his email, McShane also linked an information page for Resources for Undocumented Students (DACA), which includes local immigration charity services.

Dear Members of the Fordham Family,

As I’m sure you are aware, President Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration has shocked and unsettled many Americans. Last night a federal judge issued a temporary stay suspending implementation of the order, but to say that the landscape is unsettled for those seeking refuge in the United States would be a vast understatement.

We have identified at least seven students who may be affected by the current order, and we have reached out to them to offer support and advice. While we struggle to understand the shifting legal landscape, we have created an information page that may be of some help: Resources for Undocumented Students (DACA)

Though we do not know the ultimate outcome of the president’s order (nor subsequent orders and legislation), please be assured that Fordham University stands with the tens of thousands of refugees and would-be immigrants affected by these laws. We have a long history as a University of and for immigrants, in a city and a nation built by immigrants.

I know the Fordham Community joins me in keeping the refugees and immigrants of all nations in our thoughts and prayers today.

Sincerely,

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

This article will be updated as more news becomes available. 

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