In October 2012, the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine amended its eligibility requirements for admission. In addition to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, persons who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service are now eligible for admission. Simply put, we extended the educational opportunity of medical school to people who are in a particular category of undocumented immigrants. We became the first medical school in the United States to have an intentional, transparent policy of eligibility for persons eligible for the DACA program. This expanded admissions policy has gained some attention in the popular press and brought us many expressions of support. It has also dismayed a few members of our school's circle of faculty and alumni.
We wish to walk you through the history of our policy's development. We believe that viewing it as it developed will make clear three pertinent ideas: this policy flows directly from the mission of medical schools, it suits a positive notion of social justice and is also compelled by a duty not to discriminate on arbitrary grounds, and educators who steward educational institutions must have the moral courage to place considerations of institutional mission and social justice above the political views and negative responses of some alumni and donors.