University of San Diego Response to U.S. Supreme Court DACA Decision

SAN DIEGO — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The University of San Diego believes the court’s decision is in keeping with Catholic social teaching as well as the university’s mission and represents a big step forward in respecting the dignity of all human beings.

USD President James T. Harris III, DEd, offered the following statement:

As a contemporary Catholic university, the principles of access and inclusion have deep roots on our campus. We recognize the Gospel message to ‘welcome the stranger,’ regardless of citizenship status or nation of origin. It is a joy to welcome our undocumented students who, by pursuing a college degree and serving our campus community, help USD live out our mission every day. They are invaluable members of our community and represent a spirit of resilience that inspires us.

We will continue to work together to demand comprehensive immigration reform that embodies our values of compassion, justice, diversity and inclusion. While there is still much work ahead, today is a momentous day for our DACA students and their families, and I wish to reassure our undocumented students, as well as those considering attending our university, that they will continue to find support, safety and solidarity at the University of San Diego.

In recent years, the University of San Diego has worked to create a comprehensive ecosystem of support for DACA and undocumented students. Examples of this support include:

  • The Creation of a Presidential Immigration Task Force in 2016 by President Harris to ensure the university is supporting and protecting undocumented immigrant and refugee students, employees and family members. 
  • Free Legal Assistance — USD School of law offers free legal services to DACA students and the local community through the immigration legal clinics.  Assistance with DACA renewal is also available through the clinic. 
  • Counseling — Every DACA student has access to a case manager to provide academic, mental health and other resources to help them navigate the complexities involved with pursuing their higher education goals. 
  • Need-Based Institutional Aid — DACA students at USD have access to need-based financial aid while attending the university. We are thankful for the philanthropic support of our donors who continue to help make this possible.
  • Visible Ally Network — USD faculty and staff have been trained on immigration policies impacting college students and best practices on supporting undocumented students. 


Lissette Martinez
(619) 260-4659