To: The Massachusetts State House, The Massachusetts State Senate, and Governor Charlie Baker

Allow Child Refugees to be Housed in Massachusetts

Children who have been detained while crossing the border and who are awaiting hearings should be allowed temporary housing here in Massachusetts. They are not criminals; they are young and vulnerable refugees who are fleeing increasingly violent, impoverished situations in their home countries.

Why is this important?

As feared, we are beginning to see a backlash to Governor Patrick's proposal to temporarily house unaccompanied children in Massachusetts. Town council officials in Chicopee and Bourne, the two proposed sites, have expressed resolute opposition, and the Tea Party has organized anti-illegal immigrant rallies on Beacon Hill. The problem is that these children are not illegal immigrants. They have arrived at our border seeking help as they flee violent situations in their home countries. These children are not only fleeing violence and poverty, but many are in danger of becoming victims of sex-trafficking.

In the face of this growing resistance, we hope to create a compassionate voice of support in favor of Governor Patrick's decision to temporarily house some of the children while they await refugee hearings. I believe that it is our responsibility to care for one another in an increasingly interdependent and violent world where many vulnerable individuals are left at risk. It is unconscionable to reject these children at a time when they are at their greatest need.

Please sign if you live in Massachusetts.