Leaders from Boston’s communities of color gathered at the Irish Famine Memorial downtown Monday, summoning the city’s history to support Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to shelter immigrant children in Massachusetts.
“The question is not one of capacity. The question is one of morality,” City Councilor Tito Jackson said. “Do we do the right thing by these young people who are standing here before us today who are in need?”
A cavalcade of speakers shared the microphone near the outstretched hand of a statue of an emaciated Irish woman. The figure is part of the city’s memorial to the Irish Famine of the 19th century, when immigrants flooded Boston’s shores seeking refuge from starvation despite the opposition of some local residents.
The juxtaposition was intentional.
“There are times in our history, there are times where children show up and you can’t close the door on children,” said state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, a Jamaica Plain Democrat.
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