Recent Court Decision on DACA

A message to the Saint Mary's Community

by Brother Thomas Jones, FSC Interim President; Frances Sweeney, Vice President for Mission and Professor of Spanish; María Luisa Ruiz, Senior Diversity Officer and Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies | September 22, 2023

By now, many of you have likely read or heard about last week’s Southern District of Texas decision finding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy unlawful. The decision bars new applicants from applying to the program, although it allows current recipients to renew their status and does not require an immediate shut-down of DACA.

In a time of uncertainty and concern about federal government policy and the future of DACA, Saint Mary’s College joins the California State University, University of California, and California Community Colleges systems in responding to this regretful decision and reaffirming our commitment to treat all students, staff, and faculty with equity and respect. 

An enduring value at Saint Mary’s is our commitment to the common good and social justice. We believe that DACA has benefited the lives of Saint Mary’s undocumented students and countless others around the country. We are proud to be part of a rich Lasallian history of protecting students and families who are oppressed and devalued like those who are protected by DACA, and we will continue to uphold that key aspect of our heritage.

Saint Mary’s College is proud of its designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), which demonstrates our commitment to a diverse student body and providing opportunities for all. One of the four pillars of Saint Mary’s strategic plan, Transformation 2028, is to “advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across our campus community,” and indeed, we strive to serve the educational needs of students, facilitate the flourishing of human knowledge, and strengthen the economic, cultural, and social prospects of our communities. 

To any individuals at Saint Mary’s who may have DACA status, or live in families with mixed immigration status, or have friends or other loved ones who may be impacted by recent or future policy decisions on DACA, please know that we are here for you and want to support you in every way we can. You are an incredibly important part of our community and are a part of the fabric of our campus. You are not alone.

Resources and information related to DACA and Dreamers can be found on the Financial Aid Office’s website and the Institute for Latino and Latin American Studies (ILaLS) website


Brother Thomas Jones, FSC
Interim President

Frances Sweeney
Vice President for Mission and Professor of Spanish

María Luisa Ruiz
Senior Diversity Officer and Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies