Concerns raised over immigrant housing plan

Lawmaker concerned about what this would mean for you

BOSTON (WWLP) – Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is being vetted by the federal government as a possible shelter for unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern border into the U.S.

These children range anywhere from three to seventeen years old, and have traveled without their parents to seek safety from what Governor Patrick calls a “humanitarian crisis” in Central America.

Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is a possible location that could shelter up to one-thousand children for as long as four months while they are processed for deportation, reunification or asylum under federal law.

“The facility would be secure. It would have places for children to sleep, eat, play and go to school,” said Governor Patrick.

22News talked to one state lawmaker who is concerned about what this would mean for you and your family’s health. He is concerned with possible health risks these children could bring to the country.

“They’re interacting with people and in some instances are carrying diseases or afflictions that we haven’t necessarily seen within the context of the United States in quite some time,” said Representative Brad Jones.

These unaccompanied minors would not be attending local public schools and would be monitored in a secured facility controlled by federal immigration officials.

If Westover Air Reserve Base is chosen, up to a thousand children would have to receive medical screenings and vaccinations before entering the state. The operation would be fully funded and overseen by the federal government.

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