Syrian and African refugees to be relocated in Northampton

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Kathryn Buckley-Brawner of Catholic Charities told 22News in addition to Syrians, they’ll be looking to resettle Africans from Burundi and the Congo.

Northampton, the Paradise City, will be the new home of Syrian refugee families escaping civil war. A 22News internet poll that showed that 83% oppose Syrians in their community.

However, Northampton is welcoming them. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us as citizens to lead by example,” said Aaron Taylor-Waldman of Northampton.

UMass Immigration Law Professor Rebecca Hamlin told 22News there should not be a security concern. “The people who are being brought into the country as resettled refugees have an official designation as a United Nations refugee. These people have been through so many stages of vetting and screening that there really is no case of anyone who has gone through those being a threat to national security,” said Hamlin.

If you would like to make your opinion on the relocation of the Syrian refugees heard, Catholic Charities is hosting a public meeting here at Northampton Senior Center on Conz Street on Thursday from 2:00PM – 4:00PM.

The refugees will get a one-time federal stipend of $1,500. They’ll need support with housing, healthcare, employment, and English-language learning.

Catholic Charities, who wanted the relocation complete by October, now says they’re flexible. “Oh absolutely, we are willing to work with city on the timeline. The more time we have the better prepared we are,” said Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Agency.

Catholic Charities says they’ll need plenty of volunteers to help the refugees get adjusted to their new life.

Related Syrian Refugees Coverage:

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