Donnelly College Continues to Support DACA Students

Donnelly College Continues to Support DACA Students

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Through executive action, President Donald Trump has announced his plan to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program issued in 2012 to provide deportation protection for hundreds of thousands of young people in our country.

Due to this action, Donnelly College continues to express its support for DACA students and their families during this time of great uncertainty.  

“We call upon Congress to provide a ‘legislative fix’ by passing comprehensive immigration reform or, at least, a version of the DREAM act,” urged Donnelly College President Monsignor Stuart Swetland.

“The repeal of DACA will affect institutions of higher education across the country, but more importantly, it will have a negative impact on our students, their families and our community at large,” Swetland said. “We must remember that regardless of how they came to us, they are here now, and they are human beings.

America can never be great without first being good. Historically our goodness was grounded in our generosity, hospitality and fairmindedness. By definition, all persons with DACA status are law abiding residents. Through no fault of their own, they are in an undocumented status. To deprive young persons of the only country they have ever known because of something their relatives may or may not have done is not in keeping with the American ideals that historically have made this country a beacon of liberty, opportunity and justice. They are persons, not pawns.”

Donnelly College is the region’s only federally-designated Hispanic-serving and Minority-serving institution with 84% students of color.

Anticipating this action, Monsignor Swetland recently signed a letter of support for DACA students organized by Faith in Public Life that stated, “We witness the obstacles they overcome each day as they pursue their dream of a better life for themselves and their families. In facing adversity and uncertainty with grace and hope, they embody the best of our schools, our country and the Catholic tradition. It is a moral and policy failure when our government targets children and young adults who simply aspire to live the American dream. Breaking up families and communities undermines the best values of our nation.”

Monsignor Swetland also was one of 123 Catholic college presidents who signed The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ joint statement in support of DACA in November 2016. “We are committed to educating these young people, brought to the United States by their parents, who come to our universities to build for themselves and us a brighter future,” the statement said.

The ACCU’s statement also quoted Pope Francis’s remarks to immigrants during his September 2015 visit at the World Meeting of Families in Philadephia: “Do not be discouraged by whatever hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this nation.”

About Donnelly

Donnelly College, located in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas, is an independent, coeducational, Catholic institution founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. The College was established in 1949 to meet the needs of urban immigrants and the working class, with special focus on “those who might not otherwise be served.” Today, Donnelly continues that tradition by providing access and affordable education within a culture that promotes student success and by serving as the region’s only federally designated Minority Serving Institution and Hispanic Serving Institution. Our community is proud of the rich racial and ethnic diversity of our students, staff and faculty and how that diversity supports our learning environment. Through a strong general education curriculum integrated with career-oriented majors, Donnelly College offers programs leading to bachelor and associate degrees and certificates. To find out more, please visit