A Call for Action on Immigration

By Dr. Kent J. Ingle
President, Southeastern University

Over the past year, we have seen our nation become more outraged and divided on the topic of immigration. Parties have disagreed and have failed to come up with a permanent solution for Dreamers. In just the past few days, we have seen the inhumane act of families being torn apart at the U.S. and Mexico border.

The separation of families and protecting the rights of Dreamers troubles all of us. However, it is not enough for us to simply be concerned about these issues – we need to do something about them. We must push for a comprehensive immigration reform plan.

Comprehensive immigration reform must be just that – comprehensive. It has to right the wrongs we’ve committed to the people who wanted nothing more than a chance at a better life. But it also has to plug the holes and strengthen our border security so that no one else will suffer.

This week, the House of Representatives is considering a vote on two partisan immigration measures – Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018. After careful review, as a member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, I cannot support either of the bills as both proposals fall short for our Dreamer students and alumni.

Our nonpartisan alliance of over 365 presidents of public and private colleges and universities from across the country is passionately urging our elected representatives to create strong, protective and compassionate immigration reform, which would include providing a legislative solution for DACA recipients and other Dreamers that is humane and reasonable. This can be done through providing a pathway to citizenship for these hardworking and talented people who are Americans in every respect but their status. Creating strong border security will also ensure that no one else is made to suffer the situation that these young Dreamers have had to go through.

At Southeastern University, we support students who have worked diligently to pursue their divine design through higher education. We understand that these students have endured many obstacles and challenges in their journey to receive an education. As a faith-based institution, we are committed to support every student within our community, regardless of their immigration status or nation of origin, with a commitment to diversity, inclusion and nondiscrimination. It is our priority to provide our students with the support they need to be successful in their God-given calling.

Congress has had years to fix this and they have done nothing. The situation continues to escalate. It’s time for them to step up and fix this problem.

As a community, we can’t sit idly by. Our nation is in need of comprehensive immigration reform that will 1) strengthen security at our borders, 2) provide a pathway to permanent citizenship for our DACA students, and 3) simplify and incentivize legal immigration by ending the lottery system and chain migration.

Please join me in praying for our leaders and urging Congress to work together to find a legislative solution that will provide hope for those who are seeking a better life for themselves and their children.