To: The Hostos Family

From: David Gómez, Ed.D., President

Since the change in administration in Washington, there have been a series of continuous assaults against the immigrant community in this nation. Whether they were the numerous executive orders or tepid repudiation of acts of hate, it is clear that the present administration has elected to pursue a course of action that is antithetical to the principles upon which this nation was founded.  A quote in this morning’s “Kings County Politics” by this country’s first President, stands in stark contrast to the policies of the current occupant of that office.

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

We find ourselves in extremely troubling times.  It is precisely in those times when the members of this institution have shown their true mettle.  As we begin the celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we see images all around our campus of the struggle to save Hostos.  Those grainy black-and-white photographs do not merely represent our history, they represent our heritage.  That heritage is to fight for those who need us and to ensure that human dignity is not the political plaything of the rich and the powerful.

I am proud to say that the College Senate of this institution, the Board of Trustees of this University and the Chancellor have all issued strong positions in favor of sanctuary status and in support of all of our students, whether documented or not.  These are the times when our students need to know that we stand with them and that we will fight for them.  They need to know that all of the resources we can bring to bear to support them will be marshalled.  In short, they need to know that they are not alone.

I leave you with one last quote from the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.  He once observed:

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.”

This is a community that has always valued human dignity and that has fought to preserve it.


Transforming Lives - Forging Futures - Since 1968