By Anna Tse
Congresswoman Katherine Clark held a panel on immigration reform at Cambridge College on July 21. The six other panelists were immigration experts who shed light on the impact of immigration reform on children and families.
One topic was Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision to house up to 1,000 unaccompanied children for four months, who are currently being detained at the U.S. border. Most of the children have fled drug violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
“I support Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision to work with federal officials to find ways to help the children caught up in this urgent humanitarian crisis,” Clark said. “No matter one’s politics, we should all be able to agree that these children need a safe, secure location where they can receive the care they need in the short term and access to legal representation to determine which children are refugees.”
More than 80 individuals attended the event. Some expressed a desire to help, including naturalized citizens who emigrated from other countries.
Since 2013, more than 57,000 children have crossed into the country over the southern border.
“While these children are in U.S. custody, we must ensure the agencies responsible for their care have the resources they need, and that the costs associated with this care are not borne by the states that extend a hand to help,” Clark said.
Patrick said the federal government would cover all expenses for the children. Military base Camp Edwards in Cape Cod and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee both offered to house these children, but only one of the two sites will take them in.
“Pushing for immigration reform is important for everyone, both legal and illegal immigrants, because it will give a sense of security to immigrant communities,” said panelist Tram Nguyen from Greater Boston Legal Services.
This post is also available in: Chinese