It’s rare that a politician says something memorable. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts said something that I haven’t been able to forget when he proposed that our state offer shelter to a thousand children who crossed into the United States to escape violence and poverty in their home countries. Massachusetts once sheltered refugees from Hurricane Katrina in military barracks on Cape Cod; Governor Patrick has proposed that the state offer the same shelter to children arriving at the border.
The governor’s proposal received a mixed response: some people called his office to offer books, toys, and time to help care for the children. Others, including some residents of the communities in which the governor proposed housing the children, strongly opposed the idea. We don’t want illegal immigrants in our communities, they said. We moved to Cape Cod to get away from problems like these. Send those children back where they came from.