The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Together, we can welcome our new neighbors

Ordalis Rodríguez, 26, a migrant originally from Venezuela who was transported on a bus from Texas, with her children Luciana, 1, and Jeremías, 5, April 13 outside Union Station in D.C. (Craig Hudson for The Washington Post)

The July 27 editorial “A problem the mayor can’t ignore” and two July 29 Metro articles — Petula Dvorak’s “Migrant wave is no reason for us to have our Guard up” and Antonio Olivo’s “D.C. mayor wants 150 troops to help migrants” — shared common themes. The arrival on buses of beleaguered asylum seekers sent to D.C. as political pawns of the governors of Arizona and Texas is a complex humanitarian crisis that requires a coordinated response. Various volunteers and paid groups, regional governments with federal financial support, and faith communities — working in concert with federal support such as transport and housing assisted by the unarmed National Guard on a nearby base — could shape a coordinated plan to support our new neighbors.

Through frequent and regular communication, mutual trust and increased funding, we could provide the hospitality and assistance these migrants desperately need and deserve. Let us become allies in this mighty mission to treat those who seek respite here with the dignity they deserve. Let the media promote this unified effort. Embrace our new neighbors with love, generosity and shared purpose.

Charlene Belsom Zellmer, Bethesda

The writer is an interfaith minister.