(WXYZ) - Marygrove College is calling on President Barack Obama to take a different stand on the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We are witnessing thousands of women and children fleeing their homes, seeking safe haven elsewhere, because they are under threat at home,” said Marygrove College President Dr. David Fike.
Fike said that many are trying to blame immigration policies for causing the influx of people trying to leave countries in Central America.
He says that is wrong. The immigrants tell officials they are trying to escape violence between drug gangs in their countries. Many families from countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have sent children to the United States alone hoping they have a better chance of surviving alone in the United States than with their families in the home countries. Fike wants people to see it as a humanitarian crisis and the president to designate those trying to escape violence as refugees.
"I am incredibly frustrated by the lack of moral leadership on an issue that screams for moral leadership,” said Dr. Fike.
Marygrove College said if President Barack Obama treats these immigrants as refugees it will do its part and take in some young refugees in need of housing and an education.
The White House has said that it expects most of those children will be deported. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion to help with the influx of undocumented child migrants from Central America. The money would be used for aid and to pay for legal services. The president says more attorneys and judges are needed to expedite the deportation process.
Republicans have said that more money needs to go to securing the border so they can’t get in the country illegally in the first place.
Dr. Fike said much of the rhetoric he hears from U.S. leaders debating the issue dehumanizes people fleeing unthinkable violence. He says the immigrants are not trying to take something from our country, but to survive.
“The lives of thousands of children and young people are at risk,” he stated. “We cannot be silent."