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Marygrove College Offers Help To Child Immigrants, If Obama Acts First

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Part of a group of 16 Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate illegally into the United States, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City on July 14, 2014 upon their arrival after being deported from Mexico. US authorities have detained some 57,000 unaccompanied minors since October, twice the number from the same period a year ago, seeking to illegally cross into the US from Mexico. Three quarters of the minors are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. (Credit: JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Part of a group of 16 Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate illegally into the United States, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City on July 14, 2014 upon their arrival after being deported from Mexico. US authorities have detained some 57,000 unaccompanied minors since October, twice the number from the same period a year ago, seeking to illegally cross into the US from Mexico. Three quarters of the minors are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. (Credit: JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A local college is willing to use school resources to help child immigrants from Central America.

Marygrove College president David Fike on Thursday will outline plans to offer scholarships to older children and provide food and shelter for other youths at the Catholic school if the federal government agrees to treat as refugees the thousands of children traveling alone from Central America and crossing the border into the U.S.

“As a Catholic institution—guided by the Gospel values of peace, love, reconciliation, and justice— we are proud to be the first higher educational institution in the nation to publicly commit to supporting young refugees from Central America,” Fike said in a statement.

Fike also called on President Barack Obama to take a leadership role in solving the problem. He said other college leaders should help as well.

Fike said that Marygrove’s offer of support is contingent on the Obama Administration publicly recognizing the surge in unaccompanied minors at the border as “fundamentally a refugee situation,” while also rescinding the proposed request to Congress for “fast track” authority to expedite the removal of children fleeing violence in Central America.

“The lives of thousands of children and young people are at risk,” Fike said. “We cannot be silent. I urge my colleagues at the helms of colleges around this nation to join me in calling on President Obama to show moral leadership on this issue and, if possible, to join Marygrove in pledging housing, food, security and education if the President would act with a moral compass.”

The comments come amid protests over plans by Grosse Pointe Park-based Wolverine Human Services to enter into a contract allowing its facility in Vassar — in the thumb region — to house children who fled violence in Central America.

 

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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