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Words matter. An immigrant is a person moving from one country to another. A refugee is someone fleeing from a desperate situation, trying to find a safe place just to live.

The hordes, many of them children, at the Mexican border fleeing from Honduras are refugees.

They need — and deserve — a safe place to live. With proper screening, they can be productive members of their new homeland.

America, at its best, must welcome at least some refugees whenever possible. Compassion, mercy and hope are necessary values for any viable society.

L. Patrick Carroll, Seattle