CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres wrote a letter to the editor of the Washington Post defending Gov. O’Malley’s actions on undocumented children:
The July 28 editorial “Mr. O’Malley’s rhetoric — and reality” implied that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) needs to do more to confront the immigrant crisis at the border, relying, in part, on a quote from me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The governor has used his national profile at the most critical moment to refocus the conversation appropriately. This is a crisis of children fleeing unthinkable situations, kids that deserve our support. Mr. O’Malley was the first nationally prominent Democrat to challenge the White House’s attempt to roll back due-process protections for children, and, thanks in part to his leadership, many congressional leaders and prominent state representatives now agree.
Maryland has had the largest per-capita placement of unaccompanied minors by the federal government, with 2,205 sponsored children this year, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Maryland has jurisdictions that are solidly progressive, solidly right-wing and in the middle. Those that are solidly progressive are most amenable to addressing this crisis in a humane fashion. We believe, like the governor, that these are the locations where children should be housed before they are hopefully united with family members or placed in foster care. This is not, as The Post implied, political expediency.