Submission: Standing in solidarity with undocumented immigrants

By Matthew Nelson and Lupita Zamora-Resendiz | December 4, 2016 9:56pm

Donald Trump has said he plans on immediately deporting somewhere between two and three million undocumented immigrants, including those going to college on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The DACA provides safety for undocumented students who came into the country as a child. These massive deportations would include members of our own campus community who are on the DACA program.

These students should not feel scared at home. They should not be afraid for their families and loved ones who could be forced to leave everything behind. There is a true fear of sharing immigration status with people because many undocumented immigrants are fearful of the consequences. Because of this fear, those of us with legal status must speak up for our classmates and neighbors in their vulnerability.

Instead of using our Bibles as justification to show hate and bigotry towards others, we must use Christ’s overall message of acceptance and inclusion of the most vulnerable to love our neighbors unconditionally.

As a nation, we may not simply decide that we want to provide for our own people and not others—there needs to be a sincere commitment to the needs of all. If this is something we truly believe, then we need to stand up for that as the individuals we are, and overall as a Catholic and Christian university—we must show that we stand in solidarity with those who feel marginalized and oppressed by society, specifically in terms of the recent election.

Catholic social teaching tells us that every person has basic human rights and these rights should never be conditioned on their legal status and "before God we cannot excuse inhumane treatment of certain persons by claiming that their lack of legal status deprives them of rights given by the Creator.”

As the University of Portland, founded in the Catholic tradition, we must stand in solidarity with the undocumented members of our campus community and those outside of it.

Matthew Nelson is a senior theology major and can be reached at Lupita Zamora-Resendiz is a junior music major and can be reached at