President John P. Fitzgibbons', S.J., statement on Executive Order

January 31, 2017

Dear Regis community,

President Trump signed an executive order on Friday suspending entry into the U.S. from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days and halted the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. Regis is contacting affected students, faculty, and/or staff and we will continue to support our community members as we monitor this evolving situation. We recommend persons from the named countries suspend planned travel outside of the United States until further notice. Students with questions should reach out to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence (diverse@regis.edu). Faculty and staff with questions should contact Human Resources (hrinfo@regis.edu).

This action has left many scared, confused and fearful for their safety and future. I write to remind you that Regis University values everyone no matter their origin. It is our diversity that makes us stronger. Our values make us a place where people from all backgrounds can come together. As a premier Jesuit institution, I want to make it clear that we support all our international students, faculty and staff. Without support, guidance, acceptance or discourse we don't live up to our Jesuit, Catholic morals and principles. 

As Pope Francis has said, "You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian. You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25. It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian but do these things, I'm a hypocrite." 

It is for these reasons that I have signed a statement by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities opposing the President's executive order. Also, in line with recent statements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Catholic groups and institutions, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has issued the below statement. 

Last week I asked you to stand with me in support of undocumented persons. Now, it is clear we need to stand together to support our entire immigrant population and those seeking refuge in our abundant nation. 

ACCU Statement 

Jesuit Conference Statement 

Gratefully, 

Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. 

President