News Detail
Johana Mejias explains how her dream of becoming a physician can now be reached.
Loyola University Chicago Medical School Welcomes DREAMers in Class of 2018

August 22, 2014 — A year after Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine became the first medical school in the country to allow undocumented students (“DREAMers”) to apply, the school welcomed seven DREAMers to the Class of 2018. The DREAMers attended a first-day celebratory event with Stritch faculty, fellow students, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin on August 4. 

Loyola’s medical school had amended its admissions policies to include qualified students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and are legally recognized U.S. residents. The status, created by the Obama administration in 2012, defers deportation proceedings against undocumented residents no older than 30 who came to the U.S. as children. Additionally, DACA status allows undocumented residents to obtain a work permit. For medical students, the ability to work in the United States is crucial for landing a paid residency. 

To help these students cover $200,000 for four years of tuition and fees, a large obstacle for most DACA students because of their ineligibility for federal aid, the Illinois Finance Authority issued $390,000 in interest-free loans to cover the first year of school for the seven students at Loyola. In exchange, they must work in underserved areas in the state after they finish their training.

“Our social justice tradition called us to take a leadership role in offering educational opportunities to underserved groups, including qualified applicants with DACA status. We also believe that the mission to train a talented and diverse physician workforce should motivate other medical schools to do the same. The opportunities are now much greater than the barriers,” said Linda Brubaker, dean and chief diversity officer of the Stritch School of Medicine.

Jesuits and Jesuit institutions have been active in pushing Congress to support humane immigration reform. Recently, more than 1,200 graduates of Jesuit institutions signed a petition to urge Congressional members who went to Jesuit schools to enact fair reform on the issue. The Jesuits and other faith-based organizations, as well as Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, former president of the Jesuit Conference, sent letters asking Congress to protect the Central American children crossing the U.S. border.

For more on the Stritch School of Medicine’s commitment to “DREAMers” and DACA status, visit [Sources: Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division, ThinkProgress, Crain's Chicago Business]

Recent News

October 19, 2016 — Today, the Society of Jesus celebrates the eight North American Martyrs, sometimes known as the Feast of St. Isaac Jogues and Companions.

October 17, 2016 — Loyola Jesuit Secondary School in Kasungu, Malawi, is celebrating the start of its second school year after a successful inaugural year.

October 15, 2016 — General Congregation 36 delegrates celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Church of the Gesù.

October 14, 2016 — Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, of Venezuela was elected the 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the Jesuits’ General Congregation 36 today in Rome.

October 12, 2016 — This Friday, the 212 electors meeting in Rome for the Jesuits’ General Congregation 36 will choose their new leader, who will serve as superior general of the largest religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.

October 12, 2016 — Over 1,000 people have died in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew slammed the country on October 4.

October 10, 2016 — The murmuratio is a centuries-old practice.

view all news

Search news

Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/31/16

America 10/24/16

America 10/17/16

Jesuit Spirituality Center
Situated on 900 acres of farmland, the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Grand Coteau provides a quiet environment for those seeking God through the Spiritual Exercises.