Immigration protests gather in Chicopee

The number of children crossing the border has decreased dramatically over the past couple of weeks

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two opposing groups of protesters from all across Western Massachusetts were at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee Sunday, hoping to inspire immigration reform.

Richard Orlick of South Hadley was among them, and told 22News, “For every citizen here you could easily find a thousand people living in squalor. And if we leave the borders open with no control, all that floods in, and the resources just aren’t here.”

At least for now, Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee will not house immigrant children from Central America. Some taxpayers told 22News regardless of where they stay, it’s too much of a financial burden on our country.

Another protester told 22News, “Of those that would come, and add to the wealth of our community, you’re more than welcome. But those who are just looking for a handout, we just can’t afford it.”

But protesters hoping to keep undocumented immigrants out of the country were met by an equal number of opposing demonstrators.

They chanted, “The people, united, we’ll never be defeated.”

Those protesting against Sunday’s rally say the United States has an obligation to help children in need, regardless of whether they crossed the border illegally.

Camilla Carpio told 22News, “They are coming here because they need support. They need support from a country that, because of its imperialistic nature, has enough resources to provide. These are children, and they need houses. That should not even be a debate right now.”

Health and Human Services says the number of Central American children crossing the border has decreased dramatically over the past couple of weeks.

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