The US-Mexico border fence. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Governor Deval Patrick said Wednesday he is weighing a request by President Barack Obama to shelter an unspecified number of children who have crossed the southern border illegally.
It's unclear how many unaccompanied illegal immigrant children would be permitted into the state, Patrick said, though the teens would be held in secure facilities.
Patrick called the situation at the border "a humanitarian crisis."
“We need to understand the scope of what it is that we are being asked to do, but I can tell you personally that I don’t think as a commonwealth that we can turn away and turn our backs to children who are coming from desperate situations,” Patrick said.
The Obama administration has made similar requests to all U.S. states.
According to the Associated Press, thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America have flooded over the border into the U.S, with 90,000 expected by Sept. 30.
The children are fleeing violence, and are reportedly encouraged by rumors that once they arrive in the U.S. they will be given shelter.