CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – 50,000 immigrants have crossed the southern U.S. border looking for a place to stay. After a proposal was announced by Governor Patrick on Friday, a good amount of them might be seeking shelter in Chicopee.
Westover Air Reserve Base may become the newest shelter for hundreds of undocumented immigrant children escaping Central America. 22News spoke with local residents all morning, and after 7 on-camera interviews, all of them said they don’t want the children staying in Chicopee.
Chicopee mayor Richard Kos is even against this idea. Representatives at Westover Aire Reserve Base are also hesitant about this proposal. Master Sargeant Biscoe told 22News that he’s worried there won’t be enough resources to shelter these immigrant children. But the possibility of even having these children in Chicopee is making some residents uneasy.
“I’m not too happy with them bringing any more freeloaders into this country,” Richard Gebbie of Chicopee told 22News. “We’ve gotten enough by paying enough for the people in this city.”
“It’s going to filter down into Chicopee, and then Chicopee’s going to end up being stuck paying for these people, supporting them, and then they’re going to tax my city,” says Chicopee resident Richard Pellisier.
Other locals told 22News the government should be taking care of legal residents first, especially those who have served our country.
Dan Lagasse of Chicopee says, “They’re going to take kids from another country and put them up, but not our own veterans.”
This proposal won’t be put to action until the Department of Homeland Security notifies the base of an official plan. There has been no word of any plan yet.