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Responding to the executive order limiting travel and immigration: A message from Loyola President Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.

| By Rita Buettner

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola University Maryland, sent the message below to the Loyola community on Jan. 30, 2017.

Dear Members of the Loyola Community:

As you are likely aware, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday halting the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days and barring all citizens of seven nations from entering the United States for three months. Although that order is being challenged in court and we are not entirely certain what its implications will be, I wanted to assure you that Loyola University Maryland is working to reach out to all members of our community who may be affected. We will offer them as much support and advice as we are able to during this time of uncertainty.

The plight of refugees fleeing war-torn regions and extreme oppression is very real, and the images we see in the news and on social media are deeply troubling. This is, however, no time to feel helpless. “Many of those affected by our world’s greatest problems of violence and intolerance have become refugees, tragically forced from their homes, and denied their land and their freedom,” Pope Francis tells us. “These are the people who need your help, who are crying out for you to hear them, and who are supremely worthy of our every effort on behalf of justice, peace, and solidarity.” Embracing our Jesuit, Catholic mission, Loyola actively works to support refugees and new immigrants in the Baltimore area. Each year hundreds of faculty, staff, administrators, and students partner with local organizations to offer assistance to those members of our local community. We are steadfastly committed to assisting them, as we are committed to all those who are marginalized.

In this moment, I also encourage each of you to keep in mind how deeply we, as a university community, cherish the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. That diversity in the Loyola community includes individuals and their families who are refugees, immigrants, or not U.S. citizens. As a global university, we are grateful to and enriched by the international students who choose to call the United States home while pursuing a Loyola education. Because the seven nations included in the executive order are predominantly Muslim countries, I also want to assure those members of our community who are Muslim that they remain most welcome and valued members of our community.

We will continue to seek opportunities for positive, constructive conversation on campus, considering the challenges of our time and the role each of us can play. If you are in particular need of support at this time, please take advantage of the services offered through Campus Ministry, the Counseling Center, the Center for Community Service and Justice, and the office of student life. International students should contact the office of international student services, and students studying abroad should contact the office of international programs. Employees who have questions should contact their human resources representative.

At Mass this weekend the Gospel reading referred to those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” I hope that in your own hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will join me in thought, prayer, and action. Together we can and will work together to create a more equitable, more just world.

Sincerely,

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.
President

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