NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Two city councilors are working to make Northampton a safe haven for Syrian refugees, and they’re asking for the community’s support.
More than half of the country’s governors are opposed to accepting Syrian refugees in their states following the November 13th attacks in Paris.
Northampton city councilors Alisa Klein and William Dwight have submitted a city council resolution, calling for Northampton to serve as a sanctuary for refugees from Syria and other countries.
The resolution will be introduced at Thursday night’s city council meeting.
The resolution urges city departments, local businesses, and organizations to provide shelter and other services for refugee families relocating into the city of Northampton.
Northampton’s Gale Hubley told 22News, “I think that shutting the door based on the things that are happening around the world is pretty disgraceful, and I’m pleased to hear that Northampton is stepping forward.”
Northampton residents can sign a public form to express support, and even their willingness to take refugees into their homes.
Jennifer Jacobson, also a Northampton resident, said, “I think with city initiatives, businesses and private residents working together, we can create a model that would be very, very effective.”
The Refugee Act of 1980 says governors cannot legally block refugees from settling in their communities, but they can refuse to cooperate. Only the federal government could refuse refugees.
President Obama has called to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. in 2016.
Northampton residents are encouraged to attend Thursday’s city council meeting at 7:00 p.m.