BY ISN STAFF | December 16, 2014
PHOENIX, AZ – Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school located in Phoenix, is showing its support for immigrants in the area who will be impacted by President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Earlier this month school principal Bob Ryan sent a letter to the Brophy community regarding President Obama’s announcement. In the letter he highlighted the schools Catholic Jesuit heritage as guiding its commitment to supporting undocumented community members, noting the Jesuit Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops statements in support of the President’s announcement. He also stated the school’s support for undocumented community members. Bringing the issue to Brophy’s doorstep, he included a brief story about a Brophy student who visited Ryan the morning after President Obama’s announcement to share his relief that his parents no longer feared being separated from his and his siblings.
On Saturday, December 13, in collaboration with local non-profits Brophy hosted an information session to provide clarity and guidance for potential applicants for the temporary status offered under the Obama administration’s action. Over 300 people attended the session. Ryan also committed the school to providing legal and logistical support at no cost to anyone impacted by the executive action. He invited members of the school community to volunteer their skills, especially legal assistance skills to assist those in need. Over 120 volunteers have already come forward. Reflecting on the event at Brophy, Ryan said, “it was a powerful witness to the Church’s consistent support of the immigrant as well as the capacity of our Jesuit works to be of service to the community.”
Jesuit institutions across the U.S. have demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the needs of undocumented students. Earlier this fall Saint Peter’s University opened a campus center to offer support to undocumented students. Loyola University Chicago became the first university in the country to publicly accept undocumented medical students, welcoming their first class with undocumented students in September. Jesuit Conference leaders in Washington D.C. have made numerous overtures to public officials, especially those who graduated from Jesuit institutions to act on comprehensive immigration reform legislation. In addition, last month over 1,000 individuals from Jesuit universities and high schools advocated to nearly 125 Congressional offices for comprehensive immigration reform that responds to the country’s broken immigration system.
Brophy College Preparatory is one of over 60 institutional members of the Ignatian Solidarity Network and recent sent a delegation of nineteen students and faculty to ISN’s Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. to join a crowd of over 1,600 for a 3-day Catholic social justice conference.