BOSTON (CBS)- About a thousand people crowded the front steps of the State House Saturday, rallying against Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to grant temporary shelter to Central American children.
More than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived at the United States’ southern border since October, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Last week Patrick suggested two Massachusetts bases be used to shelter up to 1,000 of those children while they await a court hearing.
“My greatest concern is that when my grandchild is ready to go to school, there won’t be a seat for him,” said Karen Williams of Dorchester.
Williams echoed the sentiment shared by many at the Beacon Hill rally that immigration issues strain resources that should be used to take care of Americans.
“The border patrol agents are so preoccupied with taking care of these children, they’re not able to focus on preventing dangerous criminals and terrorists from coming across the border,” said Kate Wilson.
Former Marine Wayne Bresnahan of South Boston felt the bases under consideration – Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee and Camp Edwards on Cape Cod- should be used to care for military members in need.
“I can’t understand how [Obama and Patrick] can tell U.S. Marines, on our bases, to get off and they’re going to put all illegal immigrants on there,” said Bresnahan. “There are homeless veterans outside who can’t come on the base and eat.”