Mass. steps up in child migrants crisis

Central American immigrants sat atop the so-called La Bestia (The Beast) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-US border.


Central American immigrants sat atop the so-called La Bestia (The Beast) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-US border.


As the surge of Central American children arriving unaccompanied at the border grows by the day, federal authorities have been rushing to find appropriate housing to temporarily shelter a record number of detained minors — about 57,000 since last October. The Obama administration has been quietly but urgently reaching out to states for assistance. Governor Patrick got the call as well and expressed his desire for Massachusetts to host the immigrant children. In agreeing to help find appropriate locations for some of these children in Massachusetts, Patrick is not opening the floodgates; he is committing to hold a specified group of young people in humane conditions while they can be processed under US law.

The state would bear no financial commitment for offering to hold the minors, the governor said, since the federal government would pay for the assistance. Unfortunately, state and local politicians elsewhere in the country have been reluctant to accept these children even under those conditions. As a lame-duck governor, Patrick has nothing to gain or lose politically by taking a kinder stance. “These are children, coming from incredibly dangerous places,” he said. “And we have to do something sensible and humane while we process them for whatever the [next] step is.” The United States badly needs to reform its immigration laws. In the meantime, the health and safety of young people is still at stake.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com