Local officials in Chicopee were skeptical today of a state plan under which immigrant children who have crossed the US-Mexico border could be housed at Westover Air Reserve Base in that Western Massachusetts city. But in Bourne, where Joint Base Cape Cod is another possible site for housing the children, the town administrator struck a more welcoming note.
Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos spoke out against Patrick’s proposal at an afternoon press conference. He said the city “is sensitive and concerned about the humanitarian issues” with the migrants, but housing them at the local air base “makes no sense.”
“Westover should not be an option because it’s not an option,” he said. “It’s an operational airfield without the logistics to house children and maintain its security without impeding its operations.”
George R. Moreau, president of Chicopee’s City Council, said he and his colleagues would have to look into how an influx of migrants might affect social services in the city, including the police, fire, and school departments.
“There is nothing to say that once these kids are housed there, they can’t leave there and come into the cities and towns,” Moreau said. “They’re not going to be held there by barbed wire.”
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