Governor Deval Patrick says he is considering a request from the White House about whether Massachusetts can shelter some of the unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s southern border illegally.

“We need to understand the scope of what it is that we are being asked to do, but I can tell you personally that I don’t think as a commonwealth that we can turn away and turn our backs to children who are coming from desperate situations,” Patrick told reporters.

Patrick says similar requests are being made to all states. He did not say when he would make a final decision about how many children the state could shelter.

Governor Patrick says if children are sent to Massachusetts, they will live in secure facilities and wouldn’t be released into neighborhoods.

As of the end of June, a total of 773 minors have been discharged from the Unaccompanied Alien Children program to sponsors in Massachusetts this year, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In Connecticut, state officials have rejected a federal request to temporarily house up to 2,000 immigrant children from Central America at a mostly vacant facility built for developmentally disabled adults.

If you were Governor Patrick, how would you respond to the request from the White House? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.


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