Dear Marquette community,
Rooted in a longstanding Catholic and Jesuit tradition, Marquette University was founded on the principle of providing higher education to Milwaukee’s burgeoning immigrant population. It is our mission and our great privilege to welcome all, not just some, to this university.
With respect to the ongoing national attention around the immigration issue, we reiterate what we wrote last week in a letter to the campus community: “We stand with our international students and any other student whose family is impacted by this evolving situation.”
We are writing again today to bring further clarity to what exactly this means for Marquette. In doing so, let us first re-emphasize the core tenets of our Statement on Human Dignity and Diversity: “As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Marquette recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual regardless of age, culture, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability or social class. Precisely because Catholicism at its best seeks to be inclusive, we are open to all who share our mission and seek the truth about God and the world.”
It is through that unwavering commitment that we outline Marquette’s official positions and available resources regarding undocumented individuals:
- With respect to immigration enforcement, Marquette University and the Marquette University Police Department will follow the law, but we will not act as an arm of federal immigration enforcement.
- Guided by its mission, vision and values, MUPD is dedicated to maintaining a safe environment conducive to learning, living and working at Marquette, and is committed to the safety and security of the Marquette campus and surrounding community.
- The university, bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), will not release information about students unless required to by law or court action.
- The university does not control or supervise off-campus or other police authorities (local, state or federal) and therefore cannot address any actions by those agencies.
- In the event that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is overturned and students are unable to work, Marquette will assist undocumented students in the case of lost wages. The university will help affected students find support — they should contact the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Students who experience financial difficulties for any other reason should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
- While the university does not have the capacity to provide legal services, should an individual need legal support, the university will help them find it. In fact, undocumented individuals may be eligible for one or more existing immigration options and might wish to seek legal counsel at this time. Available resources include:
- Catholic Charities, a program supported by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, provides legal assistance for immigrants living in the United States.
- The Marquette University Law School provides a free legal clinic on Wednesday evenings at the United Community Center in Walker’s Point.
- Individuals should learn how to recognize and avoid legal scams, which become more prevalent during periods of change in immigration policy.
- Special care should be taken when traveling outside the United States, given the potential difficulty of re-entering. Students and faculty should consult carefully with the Office of International Education before traveling abroad.
- The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion should be the first point of contact for those who have immigration needs and related questions. The Center for Intercultural Engagement is also an available resource for assistance around immigration issues.
- The university has established a website with resources for undocumented students, which will be updated with information as new situations emerge.
As university leaders, we take very seriously any issues of national importance that have a direct effect on our students and the broader Marquette community. We also recognize the immigration issue is an evolving one, so we will continue to coordinate with our higher education peers — particularly our fellow Jesuit institutions — on behalf of our students.
We educate and serve students who come from 72 countries around the world, and the Marquette community is richer for it.
Indeed, we are all Marquette.
Dr. Daniel J. Myers
Dr. Xavier Cole
Vice President for Student Affairs