Westover will not shelter children in the future

Westover Air Reserve Base will no longer need to house undocumented immigrant children

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News continues to cover breaking news that Westover Air Reserve Base will not be housing immigrant children. We asked residents if they trust that this new decision will last.

Rick Dupuis of Chicopee asks, “The bases they’re closing where these children already are, where they gonna put them now?”

That’s the big question since the federal government announced Westover Air Reserve Base will not be needed to house undocumented immigrant children. The number of children crossing the border from Central America into the U.S. has reportedly decreased to the point that some shelters are actually closing.

But some residents have mixed reviews about whether or not Westover will become an option again in the future.

“Yes, I do,” Dupuis says. “Under this administration, I do. I think [President Obama has] violated the Constitution. If they want to come in, come the right way. This administration is sneaking them in here there and everywhere. It’s just wrong. It’s just wrong.”

“I don’t think it would be brought up again once they said it was null and void,” says Betsy Ethier from Chicopee.

Officials at Westover Air Reserve Base say they are always willing to help. Master Sergeant Andrew Biscoe told 22News the purpose of this base is to serve America and they will always do whatever the Department of Defense requests of them. Despite protests at the State House and in Chicopee, Governor Patrick said, in a statement Tuesday, “It appears that there is not a need for Massachusetts to serve these children at this time, but I am proud of our willingness to do so.”

“I think that it’s a good idea as long as we’re helping the kids, so it’s not like they’re doing anything wrong,” says Andrea Zimmerman. “They didn’t choose the life so it’s better to help them out while they can.”

While the debate in Chicopee may be over for now, the conversation nationwide of what to do with undocumented children already living in the United States is far from over.

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