SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Springfield’s mayor is set to sit down and talk with local agencies that assist refugees about what he sees as a growing issue in his city.
Mayor Domenic Sarno sent a letter Wednesday to representatives from Jewish Family Services, Lutheran Social Services, and Catholic Charities outlining some of the concerns he would like to address at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 28.
Sarno is also requesting in his letter some further data and information from the groups, which he would like submitted to his office before next Wednesday so that “our meeting will be both efficient and productive.”
Those groups, and others, asked for a meeting with the mayor after Sarno sent a request last week to the State Department asking that they deny any request by or on behalf of refugee settlement organizations over concerns that Springfield is becoming a “dumping ground” for refugees.
The mayor is concerned that the increasing refugee population is being placed in unfit housing, is putting a strain on school resources, and is raising issues of safety for the refugees and other residents of the city.
The agencies, meanwhile, are worried that the move is going to impact some of the city’s poorest residents, and hope the meeting will work towards addressing the needs of the refugee population.