WBUR

Bourne Residents Critical Of Proposal To House Immigrant Children

BOSTON — Residents of Bourne are blasting a proposal to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who have entered the country illegally at the Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod.

The proposal fanned the flames of bigger immigration fears at a public meeting in Bourne Tuesday night, where there was widespread criticism of Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal.

Phil Michaud said illegal immigrants would “water down” the community.

“These people don’t have the same culture we have here in Bourne,” Michaud said. “And we need to protect our children.”

A local minister who addressed the group said that these would be “innocent children,” but he got little response from the crowd.

The children would be under federal care, but town officials say they’re worried about finances and public safety.


More: Immigration Crisis

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  • gossipy

    junexmastree: I did not vote for Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick nor will I ever. Do I have to suck it up just because I live in Massachusetts? Let them house and pay for these immigrants if they want them here. I do not. I share the concerns of the people of Bourne. Our government at state and federal levels is too big and out of control. Vote for change in November.

  • lca

    The Governor is not proposing that the children attend school or live with local families. He simply wants to provide them with food and shelter on the federal government’s dime at a military base. Right now many of these kids are being held in warehouses in sections separated by age and sex by chain-link fencing and with portable toilets for sanitation.

    • Lawrence

      They did not propose that YET. Things take time. This is just the first step.
      Do you think that if these illegal children are housed they’re going to sit around all day doing nothing?

      They will have to be schooled, cured of any diseases or medical conditions. Some will find someone, anyone to marry. And don’t we already give out driver’s licenses to illegals?

      • lca

        It’s sad to see such prejudice here in MA. I hate to think what it must be like in other parts of the country.

        • Lawrence

          Dear Ica,

          Prejudice is to form a judgement without adequate information. The above mentioned scenario has played out numerous times. Are you saying that they will not have to be schooled? Are you disputing that they will not need medical care? Are you saying that illegal aliens do not marry for citizenship?

          Claiming that someone is “prejudice” is a way to divert attention away when you are unable to dispute what we all know to be true.

          And what kind of pre-judging are you alleging? Racial? Because I feel the same way about illegal aliens from any part of the world, even when Americans do it in other countries.

          • SteveDK

            Cite an example please.

          • Lawrence

            I can’t say all, but, actually, I would. We win essentially all of
            our cases,” said Scharf, who heads the immigration law clinic at UMass
            Dartmouth Law School, which is providing legal counsel to several
            unaccompanied minors seeking relief.

            Scharf says many of the newcomers will qualify for Special Immigrant
            Juvenile status, and by demonstrating parental neglect, abuse or
            abandonment, these cases can qualify for green cards and citizenship.
            Others can apply for asylum or as victims of trafficking or of a crime.

          • lca

            So, Lawrence, you say that you are against providing temporary shelter to Central American children based on the fact that they entered the country illegally. Your further comments reveal that what you are really afraid of is that these “illegal children” will find a way to stay here and will change the culture and character of your little community. Nope, no prejudice there.

          • Lawrence

            Who said anything about changing the culture. That is YOUR prejudice. You are the one pre-judging.

            I am rebutting your silly argument that these kids will not be schooled. That is false. And I want to correct your error:

            READ NPR:

            The bulk of them are entered into the Unaccompanied Alien Children program run by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which offers the children the chance to be reunited with families if they are here, and offered basic necessities like shelter, education and immigration
            proceedings, which are reviewed by courts and can take years.

            Scharf says many of the newcomers will qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile status, and by demonstrating parental neglect, abuse or abandonment, these cases can qualify for green cards and citizenship

            So, Dear Ica, you see. All the above published by NPR proves you just don’t know what you are talking about.
            Re-read your original comments and see how utterly wrong you are.

          • lca

            Forgive me, that was Phil Michaud who said these illegal immigrants would “water down” the local culture and that the people of Bourne must “protect our children”.

          • Lawrence

            Well we are in agreement on this issue. That there are some small minded, racist, intolerant people that are against this.

            But there are also others who hold different reasons for being against this issue. Remember not to pre-judge everyone based on the voice of others on issues.

          • Lawrence

            Steve, this is but one of millions of cases. But according to Kaiser’s website, the largest healthcare provider in California.

            They have this to say. $2 Billion a year just for illegal immigrants to have babies. Maybe it’s a good humaritarian thing to do. Or maybe it’s abuse. I can’t say. But what I can do is report the facts you requested.

            Here is part of that article.

          • ca

            When someone is clearly wrong about something it is not
            uncommon for them to seek shelter in semantics and bombard their adversary with
            academic smoke and mirrors to divert attention from the issue. I’m certain that Ica does not need a lesson
            from you on the linguistic epidemiology of the word “prejudice”. We all knew exactly what was meant until you
            made a simple thing confusing. So let me
            put it to you this way. I was born and
            raised in Massachusetts. I have always
            felt that this part of America is special because of our willingness to accept
            people regardless of their ethnic background and I have felt sorry for those
            who have been brought up in places like the deep-south where they seem to be
            locked into a thought pattern that holds something as arbitrary as skin color to
            be the central focus of their existence.

            It’s sad to see such RACISM here in MA, and I hate to think
            what it must be like in other parts of the country. You are a racist not because of how you understand
            yourself, but rather because of how others see you. You are a bully, not because you perceive
            yourself as a bully but because of how those who have been bullied by you
            perceive you.

            At the end of the day we ought not believe the propaganda of
            Fox News or the lecturing of MSNBC but look to ourselves and our own families
            and ask the question, is it right to send children back to what we know could
            result in their rape or murder? These
            Central American countries are our neighbors.
            To a large degree their economy is dependent upon our continued abuse of
            recreational drugs. The gangs that control
            and wreak terror in the lives of these children only exist because of the drug
            economy that the people of this country has made possible. The conditions that they, our neighbors
            suffer are partly our fault.

            Now, our news media has labelled them as illegal aliens
            instead of refugees and many of us who listen and believe the news as though it
            were the gospel accept that. You will
            feel no personal impact if we help these children. You won’t eat less. You won’t have to adjust your budget. As an American, your life will go unchanged. The only thing you will suffer is perhaps
            your ego may be trampled on during your next political conversation at the
            dinner table.

            I know a young man who came to this country as a child refugee
            after growing up on the battlefield of his home country. On one occasion he was left with a severely wounded
            soldier. The boy was buckled over and
            suffering because he had not eaten for a very long time. The wounded soldier crawled over to the fire;
            put some ingredients together and made bread for the boy. The soldier died the same day. This soldier understood that even though he
            did not know this child, it was incumbent upon him as an adult human being to
            take care of this child in the face of his own suffering.

            This issue of playing a role in saving the lives of children
            ought to be an easy lift for us. These
            children are not a piece of garbage to be thrown back to be slaughtered. Maybe they are a commodity, and if we helped
            them our investment might be returned exponentially. How many immigrant children grow up to be tax
            payers, lawyers, doctors, business owners and contributors to our economy.

            Don’t be a bully and don’t be a racist. It does not give a good impression to all of
            the wonderful people who are from here.

            We have long past the time when we had to deal with the
            ignorant people who rallied against Italian immigrants or Catholic immigrants
            or those who posted signs that read “Irish and dogs need not apply”. I am sure they did not consider themselves as
            prejudice or racist. We still are not
            perfect when it comes to being tolerant and understanding of different types of
            people who live in our communities. But
            at least we can work toward creating a better society. And please do not respond to me by saying
            that this is not about race or the “browning of America” or the deterioration
            of our “American” culture. It was about
            race in the 1930s and it is about race now.

          • lca

            Well said, CA.

          • Lawrence

            Dear CA,

            You have obviously seen oppression. That’s sad. It’s sad for any minority group. I too am from a minority group. Did you know that? No. You don’t know anything about me. Do you know where I spent time doing charity work last March? Do you know how much money I spent to go to these disadvantaged countries to perform that charity work? No you don’t. So maybe you should think twice before name calling.

            To attack those who voice a different opinion based on no reasoning is cowardly and desperate. You have seen racism for sure. And I’m sure you are a kind-hearted person. But that should not cloud your perception and make you bias to different opinions. It makes your assertions irrational and baseless. It renders you unable to effectively engage in issues without an overwhelming emotional, illogical perception of the facts.

            Newsflash: Not everyone that is adverse to immigrants illegally entering the country is due to some kind of racism. For you to erroneously think such thoughts demonstrates your own prejudice and illogical, jump-to-conclusion thinking. You are exhibiting precisely the behaviors that you are accusing others of and pretend to be fighting against.

            If you opened your mind, you may notice that in actuality there are a lot of factors involved. I feel that breaking Federal law, and then creating a financial burden to the tune of $4 Billion on a country that is already bankrupt is wrong. For me it’s a fiscal problem and a disregard for the law.

            Since you felt compelled to jump into the debate between me and Ica, it should be noted by the above posts, that I was correcting her misguided and incorrect statements. I wonder if you could stick to those issues instead of going on some rant about your political views and hateful name calling?

            Shall we stick to the original posts that you felt compelled to jump into? ( I’m sure you are not capable due to the above mentioned reasons, but I would be remiss if I did not at least offer you a chance. ) Ica states the Governor is NOT proposing the kids attend schools or live with local families. Do you believe this to true and accurate or not? I don’t believe this to be true and voiced my opinion and cited references from NPR to back up my thoughts. Now you may not like my opinion. You may even disagree and have references of your own. But to attack me using hateful racial epithets is cowardly and only demonstrates your inability to engage in mature, meaningful dialogue on a sensitive issues.

            The financial burden of schooling and providing medical care is a reality, contrary to what she was proposing. What you or anyone else thinks is not the issue. Just a clarifying of facts. It’s manipulative to try to muddy this issue with false information by the politicians and I will continue to point out this misinformation as I do on all political issues. Cut the bull and the political spin and tell it like it really is.

            I understand the terrible lives of these kids and find is deplorable. But the question is this: Should our already bankrupt country who can’t afford to hire enough teachers in our schools, welcome the children who came here from disadvantaged countries, adding $4 billion to our deficit? We obviously have differences of opinion on that. I respect your opinion but you don’t respect mine or anyone else that does not agree with you. Don’t we call that intolerance? You are exhibiting the same attitudes that you pretend to be fighting against.

            For you to see every argument as somehow motivated by race is shallow, misguided and undoubtedly motivated by your unfortunate history. This makes you biased and prejudiced. You are prejudging me, without even knowing me. You are the person you pretend to be fighting against.

            Pointing out the facts and correcting inaccurate thinking is not bullying. The real question is just why is it that you actually feel bullied when someone injects their different opinion. Your slanderous name calling, arrogant telling me what my motivations are, your wrongful insinuations are classic forms of bullying. You’re the bully. Not me.

            You don’t know me, or my extensive charity work in these countries.To call me names without knowing any of the facts is hateful and pure prejudice.

            You may disagree with it, but please refrain from using the race card. It’s not accurate, slanderous and irresponsible. There is true racism in America, save it for those instances.

    • X-Ray

      There was a report today on NPR that 800 children are already in Massachusetts, going to school and on our nickel.

  • X-Ray

    What is the purpose of transporting the unaccompanied children the furthest distance in U.S..from where they crossed the border, and then posssibly having to transport them back again?

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