BY KATHY MABRY | December 22, 2017
The news was stunning; the action devoid of mercy. The current administration’s announcement earlier this fall that it was ending the DACA program – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, ran counter to the Jesuit ideals upon which Brophy College Preparatory was built and threatened the futures of Brophy’s Dreamers – young men thriving, excelling, and serving others. Young men for whom the word “home” means Phoenix, Arizona and the Brophy campus.
Immediately, President Adria Renke and Principal Bob Ryan sent a letter to Brophy families informing them of Brophy’s resolve to support its DACA students and their families in every way possible and urging the community to request comprehensive and just immigration reform from their senators and representatives. The letter concluded with the words of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, when he talked about Jesuit schools’ responsibility to form Men and Women for Others. “Men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.”
And then Brophy got to work.
The Brophy administration helped DACA families get counseling and legal advice. A coalition of student organizations including Kino Teens, The Brophy Advocacy Club, Hermanos Unidos, and the Brophy Culture Project, supported by the administration and the Office of Faith and Justice, launched the DREAM On Campaign. Over the next month, the campaign sponsored DREAM Act advocacy training, three DREAM Act phone-a-thons, a Faces of Brophy event with two of Brophy’s Dreamers telling their stories, and a campus border wall that both memorialized immigrants and activists who have lost their lives, and provided lessons on what it’s like to lose the ability to access safety and a better life.
In November, Brophy’s delegation to the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington D.C. met with Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to urge him to support legislation, as well as the staffs of Senator John McCain and Representative Krysten Sinema. Last week, three of Brophy’s DACA students were back in D.C. to work with the Vote4Dream community advocacy group. They met with New York Representative Pete King, and with Representative Sinema’s staff.
In December, Brophy, Kino Border Initiative and the St. Francis Xavier Parish School came together in solidarity to offer a Novena for Immigration Justice. Led by Brophy and St. Francis Xavier students, special prayers for immigration justice were offered on nine successive days.
Will Rutt, of the Office of Faith and Justice, commented on the effort thus far, “Our faith demands that we stand in solidarity with the marginalized – that we join arms with them and move forward united. To watch the students pull together and live out their Jesuit education and faith formation through this campaign has been a powerful experience.”
As the March deadline approaches, Brophy will continue to seek legislative reform, support our students, and work for mercy and justice for the Dreamers among us.
Kathy Mabry is the director of communications at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school and middle school in Phoenix, Arizona. She hopes to continue helping the DREAM On Campaign publicize the meaningful and necessary work being done to support the Dreamers at Brophy and around the country.