Regarding a recent proposal to house unaccompanied children who enter the country illegally in a facility in Maryland, I would like to suggest that charity begins at home ("Feds look to Baltimore to shelter immigrant children," June 9).

The city, the state and the country are all in financial straits, with so many of our citizens already on public assistance and our nation deeply in debt. We simply cannot afford the expense of housing, feeding, educating and providing medical services to illegal immigrants, including thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children.

We need to bring back the former rules of immigration, when entrance requirements included having a job, a sponsor and good medical health. Many of those who did not meet these requirements were sent back to their countries of origin, and we should be doing the same thing now.

I would suggest that we need to show compassion to our own citizens by not adding more financial hardship to our already bankrupt country. And we should also return to requiring legal immigrants to speak English and become Americans, not hyphenated-Americans.

Elizabeth Brown Young, Catonsville

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