September 6, 2017
Letter from President Corey to the Student Community:
As I shared briefly in chapel this morning, at Biola we care deeply about all of our students. Quite naturally, as the story surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was unfolding these last few days, I thought of our DACA students. For those of you who aren’t familiar with DACA, it is an immigration policy in the United States that allows certain immigrants who entered the country as undocumented minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. These young people are here through no fault of their own, having come to the U.S. as minors and grown up in our communities.
Yesterday, President Trump announced his decision to rescind DACA and charged Congress within the next six months to legislate a more permanent and legally defensible solution for DREAMers. We are aligned with other Christian higher education institutions to show our support of DACA, appealing to our elected officials to pass legislation to protect these students.
As I shared in a letter with our community on January 19, 2017, we are committed to all students’ education here at Biola. Our approach throughout the university, from the admissions and financial aid process to student development and academics, is to serve all our students equally, adhering to state and federal laws governing access and privacy. As it relates to DACA, we will:
- appeal to congressional leaders to provide permanent protections to DACA participants;
- stand with other organizations that are leading the charge such as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, the US Catholic Bishops, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities;
- create a resource page (on the Student Life Blog) in the next few days for students to access who may be impacted by the DACA decision, including FAQs, links to resources and the latest developments;
- provide opportunities to come together as a community to pray for DACA students and congressional leaders who we believe should advocate for those students. I addressed this today in our first-ever all community chapel. On Thursday this week there will be a gathering at the Bell Tower at noon for an informal time of prayer.
If you are one of our undocumented students, please know that you are welcome here, and we will continue to support your educational pursuits as a Biola student. We value you, we believe in you, we want God’s best for you as you grow in Christ and biblical wisdom. You are a significant member of our community and our university is stronger because of you.
Blessings in Christ.
Barry H. Corey