People of faith in the United States opened their hearts and homes four decades ago to the tens of thousands of children who were alone and refugees as a result of the war in Vietnam. We rose to the occasion again years later when the lost boys and girls of Sudan inspired us with their courage. These young people, now adult U.S. citizens, became teachers, doctors and business owners, our neighbors and co-workers. They have made the United States stronger.

Today, we stand by American and faith-based values of welcome, freedom, safety and due process when it comes to the tens of thousands of children seeking refuge as they flee Central America [“Obama will request $2 billion to stem influx of immigrants,’’ news, June 29].

We cannot accept any response by the administration or Congress that seeks to forcibly and indiscriminately return these refugee children, who have made perilous and courageous journeys, back into a maelstrom of conflict and criminal violence.

Linda Hartke, Baltimore

The writer is president and chief executive of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.