U.S. Immigration Policy and Enforcement

USD’s Culture of Care Principles

  1. As the president of the University of San Diego, I endorse the statements made by Bishop McElroy on November 28, 2016, at the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative Conference held at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, as well as the principles within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Social Teaching on Immigration.
  2. As a campus community, we reject all forms of racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination whether or not done under the guise of immigration enforcement.
  3. I joined other university presidents from across the country in 2016 signing a joint statement to our country’s leaders that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) should be upheld, continued and expanded. I also support increasing campus outreach, through counseling and pastoral care, through legal advice and support via our legal clinics and by marshalling other legal resources from our School of Law and community services for our undocumented, immigrant and refugee students, international students, employees and family members, as well as others experiencing marginalization.
  4. We are committed to diversity and inclusion and access to higher education by creating an atmosphere of trust, safety and respect in a community characterized by a rich diversity of people and ideas.  We encourage all members of our campus community to exemplify respectful behavior and to speak out against any acts of discrimination directed at members of our community due to their immigration status, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or identity.
  5. We will continue to build upon our vital and productive bi-national relationship with Mexico and the thriving cross-border region to further enhance USD’s research and teaching mission and our role as an anchor institution in the broader community.
  6. I want to reaffirm the University of San Diego’s commitment to protecting our Torero family in response to the following immigration enforcement scenarios:
    1. USD will not share information about a student’s or employee’s immigration status or assist with immigration enforcement activities with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement agencies except in response to a subpoena, warrant, or other legal mandate, where exigent circumstances exist, or where the student or employee voluntarily consents to the disclosure.
    2. USD will not verify the immigration status of applicants for undergraduate or graduate programs who are residents in the United States.
    3. The Department of Public Safety, a non-sworn department, will not engage in immigration enforcement activities, will not ask for or otherwise collect immigration status information about our students or employees, and will adhere to the same principles as those described above.
    4. Consistent with our vision for setting the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university, USD will take a leadership role in integrating regional efforts to assist immigrants and others experiencing marginalization and will foster education and community dialog on issues of immigration, discrimination and intolerance by: Integrating USD’s efforts with those of the Diocese of San Diego and other Catholic groups to coordinate support of immigrants and refugees throughout the region; Coordinating with local university officials at nearby institutions, including SDSU, UCSD, SD City College, and the San Diego County Community College District, to integrate support for DACA, undocumented, immigrant, refugee and international students and to encourage local and state authorities to take additional measures to protect our immigrant population; Convene campus leaders to plan a series of forums and public lectures, beginning early in the Spring Semester, to foster a better understanding of the issues that divide our country, especially immigration, and a respectful and constructive dialogue to address the issues of injustice, intolerance and discrimination and to seek agreement on common principles for all of us to better serve immigrants and others who are experiencing marginalization in our communities: Support cross-campus collaboration and interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship on immigration and refugee issues; race, ethnicity, and civil rights; cross-border ties; and community engagement, for the purpose of increasing the visibility and impact of the innovative work on these issues already underway at USD. 

James T. Harris III