Concordia University Irvine Statement on DACA Rescission
September 6, 2017
On September 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was implemented in 2012, will end in six months. This announcement comes amidst great public controversy and debate.
As the administration of Concordia University Irvine, our first concern is for the students we serve, for their family members and friends, and for our community. One-third of the roughly 800,000 people affected by the rescission of DACA live in California; this is a local issue for us, and it affects our community directly.
Concordia’s mission is to “empower students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service, and leadership.” We do this by admitting all qualified students who wish to attend Concordia and who meet our admission requirements.
At Concordia, we do not check the citizenship or immigration status of domestic students who apply, and we protect the confidentiality of student education records in compliance with U.S. law. We will continue to offer access to resources that support all of our students who seek to achieve their educational goals, without reference to their immigration status.
Concordia is a university of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; we are a Christian university guided by the teachings of the Bible, particularly as articulated in the Lutheran Confessions. Our church body’s 2012 study, "Immigrants Among Us: A Lutheran Framework for Addressing Immigration Issues," asserts that God’s divine command to love our neighbor applies to all of our immigrant neighbors regardless of their immigration status, and that Christian schools may appropriately provide access to education for undocumented immigrants and their children (pp. 18, 47).
Concordia is also a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), which includes 180 higher education institutions around the world, and we support the statement issued by CCCU President Shirley Hoogstra, which reads in part as follows:
"The CCCU urges Congress to act immediately…. This decision will have far-reaching consequences for these valuable, deeply loved individuals, and so we call on Republicans and Democrats alike to look past party lines and come together to create a legal solution that respects both the God-given dignity of every person and the rule of law."
At Concordia University Irvine, we urge our Federal, state, and local governments to act compassionately toward those immigrants who came to the US without proper documentation through no fault of their own, even as we acknowledge that the Federal government has a responsibility to enact and apply immigration laws. We also acknowledge our calling as a Christian university to love our neighbor by serving all of our students and our community. Concordia remains committed to the mission of serving our students, and we will continue to monitor developments that support a long-term solution.