Unlike governors in some states who are turning their backs on the child refugee crisis in the south west, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick stepped up today and said he wanted to help the child refugees that have been crossing the border into the U.S. from Mexico. In comments to a reporter today, Patrick recalled a situation during the Holocaust when the U.S. turned away a ship full of Jewish children:
“My inclination is to remember what happened when a ship full of Jewish children tried to come to the United States in 1939 and the United States turned them away, and many of them went to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps,” Patrick said when a reporter asked how he viewed the border crisis. “I think we are a bigger-hearted people than that as Americans, and certainly as residents of Massachusetts.”
The Boston Globe reports Patricks reference to the Holocaust “appears to correspond to the story of the St. Louis, a ship that sailed from Germany in the spring of 1939 carrying roughly 900 Jewish refugees.”
The ship was forced to return to Europe, where more than a quarter are known to have died in the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
There are no firm plans in place as of yet, Patrick noted as to how refugee children Massachusetts might take, but the federal government, he said, has essentially asked: “What can you do if anything to help shelter these children while they’re being processed?”
“I think there’s a humanitarian reason to try to find a solution, try to find a way to help,” he said Wednesday. “These are children, coming from incredibly dangerous places. And we have to do something sensible and humane while we process them for whatever the step is.”
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy have both refused the federal government’s request for assistance in sheltering some of the refugees. Meanwhile some wingnut bloggers are making some wild-eyed claims about what the federal government plans to do for these children who has come here to America to escape dire circumstances including rape, drug crime and death.