Immigrant activists try to crash closed-door meeting

BOSTON (WWLP) – Tensions were high when pro-immigration supporters barged into House Republican Leader Brad Jones’ office during a closed door meeting between federal immigration officials and the Republican Party.

“They don’t want to have a conversation with us. That’s the only thing that we want. If they want to talk about our people, if they want to talk about people like me, have a conversation with the immigrant community in Massachusetts,” said pro-immigration supporter Patricia Montes.

The private meeting was about the immigration crisis in Massachusetts. Among those behind closed doors: Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, the Mayor of Lynn, county sheriffs and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Many of those present at the meeting echoed a similar message – lack of action on Capitol Hill has made immigration a heated issue on Beacon Hill as well.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis. This is a crisis of leadership in the United States where Congress has failed to act for two decades on an issue that hurting families, is not setting forth an opportunity for people to get a real chance to come here in a legitimate way,” said Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson.

Still no word yet from the federal government about whether Westover Air Reserve Base has been chosen to shelter undocumented immigrant kids, but advocates push to at least be included in the conversation.

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