BOSTON (WWLP) – Three weeks after Governor Deval Patrick offered up two locations in Massachusetts to shelter undocumented immigrant children, the federal government now says shelters are no longer needed.
So now, unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border will not be staying in Massachusetts anytime soon.
Rep. George Peterson, (R) Asst. Minority Leader, told 22News, “It’s actually, I think, a good thing because we’re not going to have to be picking up the cost. As much as they say the federal government is paying for it, there will be some costs for communities.”
This after Governor Patrick offered up Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee and Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne to temporarily shelter and process undocumented immigrant children.
Massachusetts wasn’t chosen because, according to the federal government, fewer children are being taken into custody at the Southwest border. However, just because there isn’t a need for shelters right now, the federal government isn’t ruling out Westover to use in the future.
Frank Soults, MA Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition, said, “The federal government might find that the flow of children suddenly increases because the violence in those countries certainly has not ebbed according to what we’ve seen.”
22News asked Governor Patrick if he’d do things differently the second time around. He said, “If asked again, I think I would respond in the way that thousands of compassionate people here in the Commonwealth who’ve expressed themselves would want me to respond, which is just as we did.”
Next, the federal government plans to shut down three temporary shelters that were used to house unaccompanied minors.