Baker now more confident in refugee resettling process

51 refugees are to settle in Northampton by next year

baker orlando news conference

BOSTON (WWLP) – Dozens of Syrian refugees will be relocated to the city of Northampton. A total of 51 will be calling the Hampshire County city their new home, but they will not all arrive at once. One or two of these families would relocate to western Massachusetts at a time, until all 51 have been resettled by October of next year.

Governor Charlie Baker had expressed skepticism in the past about settling refugees in Massachusetts, but said Thursday that he has confidence in the federal government’s vetting process.

These Syrian refugees are escaping civil war, and must meet various requirements before they can move to Northampton. Baker explained that there are three categories of refugees: those with direct family members who live in the United States, women and children fleeing war-torn countries, and families that they want to ensure remain intact.

“I think in some respects, those are the right kinds of criteria, but again as everybody has said, the process can always be improved,” Baker said.

The refugees will receive a one-time federal stipend of $1,500. They will be responsible for finding a place to live.

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