Gov. Patrick Offers 2 Mass. Sites For Unaccompanied Children

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday proposed two locations in Massachusetts to shelter unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s southern border.

Patrick said at a morning news conference that Camp Edwards military base in Bourne and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee will be reviewed by officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to see if they are suitable for housing children.

Patrick said the federal government is looking for facilities that can house up to 1,000 children for four months.

He said each child would be at the facility for up to 35 days and that all expenses and responsibility for the children will be picked up by the federal government.

Patrick said no final decision has been made yet on whether either facility would be suitable or when children may start arriving.

The governor, who became emotional speaking about the issue, called sheltering the children a moral and religious obligation.

“My faith teaches that ‘if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him,’ but rather ‘love him as yourself,’ ” he said, quoting Scripture, his eyes teary.

He added: “This good nation is great when we open our doors and our hearts to needy children, and diminished when we don’t.”

Patrick was flanked at the news conference by faith leaders, including Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who said, “Patrick has recognized the human tragedy and humanitarian crisis.”

Others were more critical of his move.

Don Humason, a Republican state senator from Westfield, said Patrick’s proposal injects Massachusetts into a much bigger debate about border security. He said the governor’s office called him Thursday night to give him a heads up, because his district includes Chicopee.

“And I expect at some point along the way, I’ll be labeled a cold, heartless person for not wanting to reach out and care for the poor children of the Central American countries south of us. So be it, I’ll accept that,” he told WBUR. “But my bigger concern is taking care of my own neighbors, my own taxpayers, my own constituents.”

The gubernatorial candidates also weighed in with statements.

Democrat Martha Coakley, the state attorney general, called Patrick’s decision “the right thing to do.” Steve Grossman, the Democratic state treasurer, said Patrick “has responded with bold, courageous leadership.” And Donald Berwick, another Democratic candidate, called Patrick’s move “an act of dignity, compassion, and generosity.”

Charlie Baker, the Republican front-runner, was more measured in a statement:

All states should work with the federal government to provide emergency assistance to these unaccompanied minors. However, it is incumbent on the federal government, which created this crisis, to be forthcoming with every state about how this program will work, how it will be funded, how these children will be cared for, and what the ultimate outcome will be for every child.

With reporting by The Associated Press and WBUR’s Asma Khalid and Benjamin Swasey

- Video courtesy of State House News Service:


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  • fun bobby

    each kid costs between $250 and a $1000 a day, why not put them up at the Hilton?

  • Away Sale

    “facilities that can house up to 1,000 children for four months.”

    looks like these ILLEGALS aren’t going anywhere soon. welcome to the next phase of the infestation and destruction of America.

  • Away Sale

    “He said each child would be at the facility for up to 35 days and that
    all expenses and responsibility for the children will be picked up by
    the federal government.”

    translation,,, paid for by the LEGAL, WORKING, TAXPAYERS OF THIS COUNTRY!!!!

    • oyyoyoy

      What would you propose? Honestly? Deportation?

      You do realize that US Law passed and signed into law by Bush explicitly states that minors from non bordering countries have the right to appeal for shelter/asylum in the US.

      So you can be irritated all you want, but the law is the law. So again what would you do?

      • Away Sale

        obama changes laws whenever he feels like it, change this one and send them all back

        • oyyoyoy

          That is the most non solution solution I’ve heard in some time. You basically just said “I know you are, but what am I.”

          Be serious. What would you propose? If you’re suggesting deportation do you think that’s free? If you’re suggesting changing the law then reach out to your congressional reps and ask them. Otherwise just jibber jabbering on this thread does little to nothing.

          • Away Sale

            its a better solution than oblama has come up with

        • Matt

          Except legally, he can’t. He can have the DoJ focus more on processing these minors, but unless Congress repeals the law, the law stays and he has to follow it.

          and if you actually understood how the executive branch works, you’d understand that it’s entirely in Obama’s prerogative to change the priorities of what the agencies focus on. That’s why he can legally tell the DoJ to focus less on the migrant workers working here and more on the criminals that have come here illegally. They’ll still get around to the migrant workers, but the criminals come first. Do you understand that? That your outrage is nothing more than not understanding how the government works?

          • Away Sale

            do you understand he has changed laws ILLEGALLY already MATT?????????????

          • Matt

            You understand the he didn’t actually change laws, just how they were executed by the agencies under the executive branch, which is actually something every president can and has done.

            I get that you don’t like the man or his policies, but don’t start crying wolf, or dictator in this case, when he hasn’t broken the law. It makes you look foolish and it discredits you so that *if* he were to do something overtly illegal, we wouldn’t listen to you and those like you call him on it because you’ve spent your time calling foul when there was none to call. Do you understand now?

          • Away Sale

            lets see how legal his changes to obamacare are

          • Matt

            So you really don’t have anything worthwhile to bring to this discussion, do you?

          • Away Sale

            “I’m not concerned about their opinions,” Obama said of legislators who raised concerns.

            we’ll just wait an see Matt

          • Away Sale

            The U.S. appeals court ruling issued on Tuesday striking down the
            government’s ability to offer Obamacare subsidies through federal
            insurance exchanges showed President Barack Obama was trying to “change
            the law at will,”

          • Matt

            You forget that it conflicted with another ruling the same day upholding the law. Both by federal circuit courts. Sorry, but the courts haven’t decided yet.

          • Away Sale

            President Obama is trying to change a 2008 law that dictates how the federal government handles those immigrant children

          • Matt

            yeah? what changes is he trying to make? All I hear is how he wants more money for more judges to help speed up the process. Boy, people like you b*tch and moan about how the government is inefficient and useless and then call someone a dictator when they try to fix the problem by making the government more efficient

          • Away Sale

            you’re foolish if you think ALL the money is going only to hire more judges,

          • Away Sale

            Obama Looks to Illegally Change Obamacare . . . Again

          • Away Sale

            Delaying Parts of Obamacare: ‘Blatantly Illegal’

          • Matt

            Reading facebook posts doesn’t count as fact. There has not been a court ruling saying that the delays were illegal

          • Away Sale

            no posts came from facebook, they were from the new york times, washington post,,,etc,,,,,

          • Away Sale

            Obama Administration Illegally Amends Obamacare

  • Away Sale

    “My faith teaches that if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you
    shall not mistreat him, but rather love him as yourself,” he said, his
    eyes teary.

    just like the eyes of everyone in the country who see their country being destroyed by this infestation of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Thanks a lot for nothing deval

  • Away Sale

    “Patrick said no final decision has been made yet on whether either
    facility would be suitable or when children may start arriving.”

    it will be kept a secret so no one knows how many are really here.

  • Len Alford

    I do agree that we need to care for those kids already here but only as part of a dual plan – the other half of which must be to stop the flow but this i something that our President doesn’t seem to feel is important

  • Thinkfreeer

    Take your scripture and send it back to Guatemala with the kids. We are obligated to send them back, not care for them. If you feel you have to do something because of your religious convictions, do it with the church.

  • justinmbarlow

    as Thelma
    explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
    on the internet . more info here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • taxman10m

    Charlie Baker is so milquetoast. How is it possible to be so lame on such an explosive issue? Humason has it right.

  • snarky

    when Katrina refugees were flown to the cape, the same people said “send them home”…it’s not about caring for our own, it’s about conservatives, the party of jesus, just not caring.

    • rich4321

      People are so indulged in their own comforts, they take everything for granted, they forget that, god forbids, someday bad fortune might befall on them and their family. When that happens, I bet the same people will whine about not getting enough assistance.

      These are children we are talking about, they came to this world with no fault of their own. As much as people whine, we are still the most powerful nation in the world, we have the moral obligation to help the unfortunates as much as we can.

  • weatherwitch

    One big buffoon surrounded by a bunch of buffoons does make me support this. Send them home period.

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