(CNN) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick proposed two locations in the Bay State to temporarily house undocumented immigrant children who are currently stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Noting the country's tradition of accepting "desperate" children in dire circumstances abroad, Patrick said he had an obligation to meet requests by the federal government to allocate shelter for up to 1,000 children.
"I have come down where I have for two main reasons: love of country and lessons of faith," he said in a press conference Friday.
His decision comes as multiple governors, including Democrats like Patrick, have turned to requests to house children.
Patrick proposed two facilities: Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne and the Westover Air Base in Chicopee.
The locations, he stressed, would be under federal, not state, control, and would provide space for the children to sleep, eat, play and go to school, with an average stay duration of 35 days. He said federal authorities will still need to vet the locations before accepting his proposal.
"It bears remembering that these are children, alone, in a foreign land," he said.
"As a parent and as one who has himself been a stranger in a strange land, I know this will matter."
"We have rescued Irish children from famine, Russian and Ukranian children from religious persecution, Cambodian children from genocide, Haitian children from earthquakes, Sudanese children from Civil War and children from New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina."
He made an apparent reference to the voyage of the St. Louis, a German ocean liner that contained Jews fleeing from Europe in 1939. The passengers were unable to gain entry to Cuba or the United States and had to turn back.
"A good nation is great when we open our doors and our hearts to needy children and diminished when we don't," he said.
Growing emotional, he cited his Christian faith as a reason to host the children.
"Every major faith tradition on the planet charges its followers to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated," he said.
CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.