CHRC Response to Decision to End the DACA Program

September 7, 2017

The Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago strongly condemns the rescission of DACA. Since 2012, DACA provided legal protection from deportation and work authorization to approximately 800,000 eligible youth and young adults who immigrated to the United States as children. DACA holders are attending our schools and churches, living in our communities, and are working among us. They are our friends, our classmates, our co-workers, and neighbors.  Many DACA holders have US citizen children – the loss of DACA will not only be devastating for them, but also their children, their families, and entire communities.  Rescinding DACA in the absence of legislation to protect these young people from deportation undermines children’s right to safety, security, and family unity.

We remain committed to advocating on behalf of DACA recipients, and urge Congress to swiftly pass the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill that will provide a long-term and permanent form of protection from deportation and that protects dignity and livelihoods of these young people who call America home.




DACA Clinics for DACA holders

During this free legal clinic, private attorneys from Chicago's top law firms will join with the National Immigrant Justice Center to complete and file applications for qualified individuals to RENEW their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Registration must be completed as soon as possible. PLEASE NOTE: this clinic is ONLY for current DACA holders whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.



Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs (SDMA): and

UP (Undocumented & Proud): A closed group for undocumented students at Loyola to discuss shared experiences as undocumented students of higher education.

Share the DREAM - Undocumented Student Ally Trainings: The three-hour training provides the Loyola community with skills to understand the value and importance of exploring the experiences and perspectives of undocumented students.

Magis Scholarship Fund: A student-led initiative to fund undocumented Loyola undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need but do not qualify for federal financial aid through the addition of a $2.50 tax on student development fees.

Loyola trained allies for undocumented students are listed below:

Arrupe College Chicago:

Dreamers and Allies Student Organization, Yolanda Golden,; Staff Advisor

Campus Ministry:

Pastoral care and support for those in need.

Damen Student Center, Suite 271 – 773.508.2200

The Office of the Dean of Students:

Provides advocacy, care and support

Damen Student Center, 3rd Floor – 773.508.8840 or

Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs:

Damen Student Center, Suite 116 – 773.508.3909 or

Loyola allies for undocumented students are listed below:

Health Sciences Campus:

Visit the Ministry, Student Affairs, Bioethics, and Diversity and Inclusion offices are available as resources for individuals and groups. Perspectives is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 800.456.6327 or visiting

The Wellness Center:

Granada Center, 3rd  Floor – 773.508.8883

Crime: If you are a victim of crime, report the crime to police or 911 in case of an emergency

On-Campus Crime – including harassment and vandalism:

Inform Police and Campus Safety at 773.508.6039

On-line Harassment:

Loyola: Inform Campus Safety at


Center on Halsted:

Latino Organization of the Southwest:

Community Health:

New Life Volunteering Society:

Heartland Health Center:

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago:

Near North Health Center:

Association House Chicago:

Hamard Center for Health and Human Services:

World Relief Chicago:

Refugee One:

The Family Institute at Northwestern: counseling


Kennedy Forum Illinois: youth/

Begin here if you need legal assistance with the immigration process or if you have questions about your options once the administration changes. These organizations also advocate for the rights of undocumented students through community organizing and training.


Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition, Ad-hoc Committee for Refugee/Immigrant Children & Trauma: The ICTC is a voluntary collaboration of organizations that tracks emerging trends, promotes education among professionals and the public, and offers support to a broad network of agencies that work with and for children and families who experience trauma:

Catholic Charities: es/ImmigrationandNaturalization.aspx

Illinois Refugee Mental Health Task Force: a volunteer task force committed to ensuring access and promoting awareness around mental health needs and services for refugees and immigrants in Illinois:

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

See Directory of legal service providers

National Immigrant Justice Center: dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers:

Illinois Business Immigration Coalition: provides a voice for Illinois businesses in support of common sense immigration reform that supports Illinois’ economic recovery, provides Illinois companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and promotes the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens:


United We Dream – the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the U.S. advocating for the rights and fair treatment of immigrants and undocumented students. The nonpartisan network includes over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states:

Catholic Immigration Legal Network (CLINIC):

MALDEF: the Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America

Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

American Civil Liberties Union: works to defend individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution:

National Immigration Law Center is dedicated to fighting for the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, and various other methods:

Lambda Legal: mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work:

Statement from the Center For the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago in Response to Recent Executive Order Affecting Refugees and Immigrants

February 1, 2017

As an interdisciplinary children’s rights center with a mission to promote and advance the rights of children, Loyola University Chicago’s Center for the Human Rights of Children denounces the Executive Orders affecting immigrants and refugees signed last week by President Trump. Among other provisions, these orders suspend entry of Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries, limit entry of refugees to historic lows, and expand immigration enforcement and detention within the United States.

These executive actions flout our nation’s historical protection of immigrant and refugee families and ignore that the failure to extend this protection has resulted in some of the darkest moments in our history. We share the sentiments of Nobel Peace laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai who said these orders’ effect is to “turn your back on the world’s most defenseless children and families.”

The number of children around the world who can no longer live safely and freely in their country of origin has reached a historic high. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 65.3 million displaced persons globally, half of whom are children. Furthermore, the Department of State reports that a majority (60 percent) of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States are under the age of 20, and nearly half are under the age of 14. Many of the children who will be most affected by these executive orders, such as those fleeing Syria, are the victims of war and trauma. Similarly, many Central American children who seek refuge in the United States have experienced unprecedented levels of violence. For immigrant children who are already in the U.S., many of whom are members of families who have contributed to our communities and economy for years, the impact of increased enforcement measures will only exacerbate fear, trauma, and mistrust, impeding their healthy development.

We cannot ignore the detrimental effects these orders will have on children. The Center for the Human Rights of Children upholds its commitment to defend universally recognized laws and principles, such as the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

Contact: Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD, Director

773.508.8051 p.


Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago, Expert Advisory Board Reflections:

“America has always been about making choices: between human affirmation and racism, between fearing foreigners and welcoming them, between looking to lead the world and isolationism, between the light and the darkness. The Trump executive orders regarding refugees bring us back to all the wrong choices we have made in the past, whether it be importing Africans as slave labor in the 18th century, excluding Chinese in the 19th century, or rejecting Jews fleeing Hitler in the 20th century. And, as always, the psychological burden falls most heavily in children. Which ’American’ and ‘un-American’ values will it be this time?”

Dr. James Garbarino, PhD, Professor; Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology; Founding Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children


“As harmful and heartbreaking as this executive order is for adults who are refugees, what often gets overlooked is the impact on children. My research speaks to the importance and power of student voice, the very same voices that are missing in the national and international dialogue related to immigration.  I am getting more requests from educators than ever before, with the recurring theme that children are coming to school fearful about their safety and their families’ safety. I wish that all who take a very tough and dehumanizing stand towards adults who are refugees had to directly confront the children of these adults and explain why these children do not have a right to live in the U.S. without fear.”

David Shriberg, PhD is a professor of education and the lead editor of School Psychology and Social Justice: Conceptual Foundations and Tools for Practice, as well as the founder of a national network of school psychologists focused on social justice. 


“In fulfillment of its mission to ensure justice for all children, Loyola’s Civitas ChildLaw Center joins with other child advocates in the United States and around the world in condemning actions that undermine the best interests of children without regard to their religion, nationality, or legal status. “

Diane Geraghty, JD, Professor and Director, Civitas ChildLaw Institute


“Based on the UNHCR Global Strategy for Public Health, refugee populations are exposed to overcrowding, harsh climate, poor shelter and the lack of adequate resources to address the morbidity burden that such conditions generate. These are individuals who have been made vulnerable by war, persecution and forced displacement from their homeland, 51 percent of whom are under the age of 18. The executive action on immigration and refugees imposes an unacceptable burden on those already heavily distressed and in need of basic requirements for life – shelter, safety and stable opportunities for well-being and growth, in particular children. The United States is a country of immigrants. Closing its doors to refugees, even if temporarily, is an immediate harm to the many directly affected by this action, and I can only see it being harmful to all of us.”

Ruth Kafensztok, DrPH, Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences


 “Social services organizations in the United States have developed profound scientific expertise in enabling refugee families and orphaned children heal, thrive, and become productive members of our society. The Trump Administration should be working in concert with these experts, and draw from decades of well-tested scientific evidence about optimal social policies and services to serve immigrant and refugee families and orphans. You would not choose to have a surgeon operate on you who knew nothing about the best science of human anatomy and surgical interventions. Our government needs to ground its policies in sound social science practices and policies so that the United States can set an example of how its citizenry can work together to build a great democracy.“

Katherine Tyson McCrea, Ph.D., M.Div., L.C.S.W., Professor, School of Social Work


“It is unconscionable for a country as wealthy and powerful as ours to turn our backs on the suffering of the world, especially because our military interventions helped to create this suffering. The fear and rejection of these people is unfounded, and abandoning them may very well foment genuine resistance to Western democracies. Moreover, we, as a nation, stand to gain from welcoming immigrants and refugees. The main undergraduate campus of Loyola University Chicago is located in one of the most diverse areas of the United States and our students benefit daily from this situation.”

Dr. Bren Ortega-Murphy, PhD, School of Communication


Catholic and Jesuit Responses to the Executive Orders:

Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich issued a powerful statement, noting that “The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values. These actions give aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life. They lower our estimation in the eyes of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then shuts its doors on them.”

See the Statement issued by the Jesuits of Canada and the United States

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, chaired by Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, issued a statement opposing the Executive Order. He states, “We strongly disagree with the Executive Order's halting refugee admissions. We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope.”

See the Statement issued by Jesuit Refugee Services