Martin O’Malley Steps Up on Behalf of Refugee Children & America’s Best National Traditions

United We Dream Press Releases

July 16, 2014

Martin O’Malley Steps Up on Behalf of Refugee Children & America’s Best National Traditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In contrast to some politicians of both parties, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) is providing a model for how to responsibly handle the ongoing crisis of child refugees from Central America in accordance with our moral responsibilities and best national traditions.

Honoring America’s tradition of welcoming refugee children and families and in response to proposals to fast track deportations, Gov. O’Malley said last week that, “It is contrary to everything we stand for to try to summarily send children back to death.” In response, United We Dream (UWD) – the nation’s largest immigrant youth-led organization – commended Gov. O’Malley. He also noted that instead of the inhumane debate about deportation and detention, that the “better course here is to place as many kids with families and relatives as we possibly can or use the available foster system.”

The following is a statement from Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director of UWD:

“Martin O’Malley has been a leader and a champion for immigrant families in Maryland, including fighting for the overwhelming passage of the Maryland Dream Act referendum on the November 2012 ballot. Now, he is providing the same type of leadership by fighting on behalf of the rights and well-being of child refugees from Central America and UWD welcomes his contributions to the debate.”

“All these children deserve legal representation and due process, as well as a legitimate hearing regarding their eligibility for refugee and asylum protections. Yet as Gov. O’Malley acknowledges, this is not simply a policy debate, but also a larger test of what we stand for as a country.”

“Will we honor our moral obligations and traditions as a land of opportunity for those in need of protection? Or will we bow to the wishes of those who hope to exploit the child refugee crisis to advance anti-immigrant goals and expedite deportations? Let’s hope more of our elected leaders from both parties see the light and join Gov. O’Malley in fighting for a just and lasting solution to this child refugee crisis.”