CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee State Representative Joseph Wagner is among a number of state and local politicians who are speaking out on Governor Patrick’s proposal to consider Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee as one of the two sites for the temporary housing of immigrant children. Wagner sent a statement to 22News Friday afternoon.
Statement of representative Joseph F. Wagner:
“I am opposed to Governor Patrick’s proposal to consider sheltering at Westover Air Reserve Base unaccompanied children crossing the southern United States border.”
“While I am deeply sympathetic to the plight of these children, immigration is a federal issue and must be resolved at that level. The fact of the matter is this proposal would come at a cost to Chicopee residents and taxpayers. It would place a new and additional burden on our city at a time when people are already stretched too thin.”
“Furthermore, the process by which Governor Patrick reached this decision is deeply flawed. It is putting the cart before the horse to offer Westover as a location without first engaging in an exhaustive dialogue with both Chicopee city officials and the city’s state legislative delegation. No such dialogue took place, and I would hope that no final decisions will be reached on this matter without meaningful engagement with local officials.”