Reaction Mixed as Patrick Considers Housing Illegal Immigrant Children
REGION (WGGB) — The debate over whether the United States should accept illegal immigrant children rages on.
President Obama is asking some states including Massachusetts to take in some of the thousands of immigrant children who recently crossed the Southwest border illegally.
Most of the illegal immigrant children have been spilling over the border from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, countries which suffer from high crime and drug trafficking.
Among the states President Obama has reached out to is Massachusetts.
Governor Patrick is considering the request saying he’s looking at possible ways to help calling the situation a humanitarian crisis.
State Representative Nick Boldyga of Southwick says the governor should tell the president ‘no.’
“I would suggest to the governor to not accept these people here. The President’s looking for $5 billion to house these people in a secure facility so does that essentially mean they’re going to be in a prison. I think this would be a costly and dangerous proposition for the people of the commonwealth,” says Boldyga.
Others feel the governor should say yes to the President.
“Maybe in the short-term in order to help alleviate some of the pressure and keep kids safe with all the caveats in place, I think it’s a very good, kind thing to do,” says J.M. Lariviere.
The immigration issue is a hot topic in many places. A visitor from Canada even weighed in.
“I think it does make sense to keep them for the time being until there’s a solution that’s found that will be proper for everybody,” says Michael Lalond of Quebec.
Those urging the governor to refuse the President’s request say the state should first take care of its own who have problems.
“Until such time as my own citizens are cared for here in the United States of America, I have to take care of them – the taxpayers – first and the visitors especially the illegal visitors last,” says Westfield State Senator Donald Humason.
If Massachusetts were to accept the needy this time around, it wouldn’t be the first time. Back in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, the state accepted some 250 evacuees at the Camp Edwards military reservation on Cape Cod until they could be resettled.