Gov. Patrick Recommends Westover, Joint Base Cape Cod to Immigrant Children
BOSTON (WGGB) — Following a federal request, Mass. Governor Deval Patrick has recommended Westover Air Reserve Base and Joint Base Cape Cod to house some of the unaccompanied children crossing the country’s southern border illegally.
About ten days ago, Patrick says that the regional office of the Dept. of Health and Human Services asked whether the state would house some of these children.
The request was for facilities that would be up to 90,000 square feet, where up to 1,000 children could be housed for up to four months, while they are being processed for either deportation or being reunited with their families.
Patrick notes that the average stay, based on previous experiences, was 35 days. He adds that the number of children could range anywhere up to 1,000.
Those facilities varied from unused shopping malls to federal air bases. They would also be secure, with enough space for the children to eat, sleep, play, and get some schooling.
The Governor has recommended the two facilities to the federal government. Federal officials will now have to vet both facilities and choose which one or if either are suitable.
It’s not yet known how long that vetting process will take. Patrick notes that some of that process may be contingent on a request from the President for funding.
All costs, Patrick explains, will be covered by the federal government.
ABC40 will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.
You can watch the Governor’s complete remarks by clicking on the video below: