Governor Deval Patrick on Wednesday said he wanted to find a way for Massachusetts to help alleviate the crisis of children seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, avoiding the type of feud with the White House into which other governors have been drawn, and invoking powerful imagery as his motivation.
“My inclination is to remember what happened when a shipful of Jewish children tried to come to the United States in 1939 and the United States turned them away, and many of them went to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps,” Patrick said when a reporter asked how he viewed the border crisis. “I think we are a bigger-hearted people than that as Americans, and certainly as residents of Massachusetts.”
He added, “Now getting from there to a practical solution, I have not done yet. I’m trying to think that through.”
Patrick said his immediate challenge was finding where in Massachusetts to house the children as the federal government, which he said would pay for the assistance, determines how to handle the nearly 60,000 children estimated to have migrated from Central America.
The message from the federal government, Patrick said, was essentially: “What can you do if anything to help shelter these children while they’re being processed?”
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