Justice for all

Jesuit High School hosted its 11th annual Social Justice Summit last month. The goal of the Summit was to teach students about the Catholic social teachings on immigration. Students heard from different speakers throughout the week in order to learn more about these important issues.

The Summit began with a schoolwide speech from Bishop Jaime Soto. He called on the Jesuit community to stand in solidarity with those who seek to enter our country.

“They take a lot of harsh treatment that is completely unnecessary, right when they step into the country they are behind the line because they are just not wanted. That needs to change.” – Dev Shokar ’20

We also heard from four resettlement agencies that help refugees from other countries. Sacramento is the largest refugee resettlement site in the nation. These agencies help refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIV) start their new lives in the USA. These SIV holders received these visas due to their service to our troops overseas and need more aid upon their arrival in America.

Other speakers lectured on behalf of undocumented immigrants. Attorney Gina Manciati spoke of her experience as a dreamer and an immigration lawyer. She called on students in attendance to respect the human dignity of those who cross our border illegally due to violence in their home countries.

“The system is pretty messed up. It looks at a person as a number and not as a person.” -said John Posas III ’21

Service is an integral part of the Jesuit education. St. Ignatius calls us to “give and, not to count the cost,” and the oppressed people spoken about are in need of our help. It is easy to get caught up in the partisan issue that immigration has become, but we need to recognize that SIV holders did a great service to our nation, and that refugees only want a better life for themselves and their families.

“When choosing my volunteer hours, I will specifically look at the programs that help refugees. America was founded on the ideals of refugees and immigration and we need to continue to live up to those ideals.”  -Avi Shapiro ‘20

We need to respect the dignity of immigrants and grant them their basic human rights. We also need to get involved. All these organizations accept volunteers, and as St. Ignatius calls for us to “Go and set the world on fire,” we need to listen and aid those who need it most.