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Caring for immigrant children is in line with Maryland's traditions [Letter]

While George W. Liebman offers an interesting viewpoint on Maryland's response to Central American children seeking refuge in our country ("O'Malley takes on another 'pop' issue," Aug. 6), his opinions don't acknowledge the reality and immediacy of the needs of this population or Maryland's history of accepting those who have been marginalized in their home countries.

At its founding, Maryland served as a safe haven for those fleeing religious persecution and has continued to welcome those from beyond its borders. In fact, more than 2,200 children have already been placed in Maryland primarily because there is an established population of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras already living here.

These children have immediate needs that must be met. After surviving a perilous journey, many of these children face lingering trauma. Some require medical care, and others simply need assistance securing food and clothing.

Not fulfilling the needs of these children, even in the short term, can have lasting effects on their lives, whether they stay here or return to their countries of origin. We believe that these children should be cared for while federal officials and our elected leaders can determine the correct course of action.

No matter their immigration status or country of origin, every child in America deserves access to basic resources.

Jonathon Rondeau, Baltimore

The writer is president and CEO of the Family League of Baltimore.

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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