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Gov. O’Malley, Faith Leaders Meet On Immigration

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The search to find temporary homes for thousands of unaccompanied minor children continues. In Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley met with religious leaders and community groups Monday.

Pat Warren reports the state is looking for ways to partner in a relief effort.

The United States has an immigration problem for which Governor O’Malley sees no easy fix.

“When parents in Honduras believe they have a better shot at protecting their child’s life in Honduras than they do sending them on a dangerous trek across hundreds and hundreds of miles of deserts, then those kids are going to stop fleeing for their lives,” he said.

So where do they go?

A proposed location in Westminster has been scrapped, along with one in Baltimore City. Catholic Charities’ proposed placement of some 50 children at their St. Vincent’s Villa in Baltimore County has Delegate Wade Kach requesting the Archbishop reconsider.

He writes, “If the Archdiocese persists in this plan, I strongly suggest at least two public information/input hearings be held. There are so many unanswered questions.”

“For Catholic Charities, this is something we’ve done from the beginning with the history of the church in Baltimore. What started with immigrant children coming to the United States from Europe—many got here when their parents didn’t make it,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy.

Faith and community representatives are working to partner with the state.

“Remember, we are speaking about kids from three years old to 14 years old. They are kids,” said Gustavo Torres, Casa de Maryland.

“All of us were united in this one mission, that we have to be compassionate,” said Eugene Sutton, Diocese of Maryland Episcopal Church.

There will be another meeting on Monday.

According to the governor, 100 or more children have already been placed in homes in Maryland.

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