For immediate Release, July 16, 2014
CASA Applauds Gov O’Malley’s Unwaveringly Moral Response to the Humanitarian Crisis on the Border
Late last week, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley spoke before the National Governors Association regarding the crisis at the border. He stated, “We are not a country that should send children away and send them back to certain death.” He later stressed that what is happening at the border is in fact a humanitarian crisis, and should be treated with the urgency and dignity of such.
Below is a statement released by CASA Executive Director, Gustavo Torres in response:
“I applaud Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for stressing that children fleeing violence and abandonment in Central America should be treated as children that deserve our support. In stark contrast to other public figures that have called for their quick deportation, Governor O’Malley has urged that arriving migrant children receive fair, humane treatment and, above all, a fair legal review of whether they should be allowed to stay. We have heard from our colleagues across the country that they are relieved to hear the Governor become an indispensable voice for the immigrant community. We have let these colleagues know that this is hardly the first time the Governor has served as a hero for immigrant communities. Across his governorship, he has been a true friend of New Marylanders and addressing the abominable treatment of children at the border is only the most recent example of his leadership.
Like the Governor, CASA believes that as an American society we must ensure the protection and humane treatment of the children arriving at the border. We hope that most children are immediately reunited with family members inside the United States. We also believe that Maryland and Virginia need to do our part to provide opportunities to house children in facilities where they can receive adequate counseling, education, and legal services. Governor O’Malley is working with federal officials to find an appropriate Maryland location as quickly as possible. We agree with him that Westminster would have been a mistake. We have now seen two locations in our region – Lawrenceville, VA and Westminster, MD – respond with virulent racism at the thought of children joining their communities. We don’t believe that humane treatment of children includes their relocation to hostile, anti-immigrant communities. Between our two states there are a plethora of communities that would treat the children with the love they deserve. We urge the federal government to confer with local leaders and organizations to provide insight and historical perspective about these sites before moving forward.”
CASA de Maryland and CASA de Virginia are their state’s largest immigrant rights organizations. Our almost 60,000 members work with CASA to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities.