I strongly oppose Governor Patrick’s proposal to house illegal immigrant minors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including here in the Ninth Congressional District at Camp Edwards military base.
First, I have serious doubts about the Governor’s representations about a “temporary” facility. Some reports indicate that it is envisioned that the facility will be open for 4 months, and Mr. Patrick has indicated the “average stay” for a minor would be 35 days. Common sense tells us that this will not be the case, especially when officials expect to see over 30,000 additional illegal minors arrive at our borders by this fall, with no fix in sight from our leaders in Washington. The proposed facility will therefore doubtless be an ongoing and convenient destination hub for more illegals as the influx continues into the indeterminate future. By rolling out a welcome mat and setting up a facility in the Commonwealth, Mr. Patrick wants Massachusetts to be complicit in the systematic influx of illegal immigrants into our nation and communities. That is wrong and we should not stand for that.
Second, I call into question whether and to what extent these minors will in fact be deported or reunited with their parents. Recent reports indicate that the Federal Government has granted asylum immediately upon request to 65 percent of unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the southern border in fiscal year 2014. If those figures hold, that means 650 of every 1,000 illegal immigrant minors in the proposed Massachusetts facility will be granted asylum. What happens to those minors next, Mr. Patrick? I fear they will enter our communities, receive government assistance, and draw from already overburdened state and local systems. Mr. Patrick emphasizes that the federal government will pay for the facility (i.e., we will pay for the facility), but ignores the ultimate potential costs to Massachusetts. I therefore call upon Mr. Patrick to provide a well-reasoned and detailed estimate of the number of minors that will be granted asylum at the proposed facility, provide a detailed statement concerning whether minors granted asylum will be released in Massachusetts or elsewhere, and provide a detailed analysis on how much those outcomes will ultimately cost our state, cities and towns. I also call upon Mr. Patrick to fully disclose the nationalities of the minors in question, including whether any are from countries that sponsor terrorism, and if so, their ages.
Third, I reject the Governor’s and the Obama Administration’s false narrative for why we have seen a surge of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors. They are tugging at heart strings about the plight of minors fleeing poor economic conditions and violence, while concomitantly ignoring the plight and needs of our own children here in America and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Patrick went so far as to compare this situation to turning Jewish children away in 1939 to face death in Nazi Germany. Really? Let’s take a step back and determine the real reason we are seeing this surge of illegals at our borders-we currently have an open door policy, and the people in Central America and other nations know it. We need to fix that by immediately securing our borders, changing our policies, and enforcing our laws, including by turning people away that enter illegally, while notifying them of the proper legal channels. We are a nation of laws and our laws must be followed and enforced. The strong showing of law and order will deter immigrants from making illegal journeys to our great nation in the first place. Until that happens, and so long as Massachusetts has a welcome mat on its stoop, we can expect a long term illegal immigration problem to exist in the Commonwealth as a direct result of this poor decision by Mr. Patrick which will enable and exacerbate the underlying chronic illegal immigration problem we face as a nation.
Dan Shores is a Republican candidate for the United States Congress in the Ninth Congressional District
Committee to Elect Dan Shores
P.O. Box 3747
Plymouth, MA 02361