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Wagner, Humason Opposed to Patrick’s Proposal for Westover

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Two local state lawmakers are expressing their opposition to Governor Patrick’s proposal to shelter unaccompanied immigrant children at Westover.

State Senator Donald Humason of Westfield said Friday afternoon that housing immigrant children at the Chicopee air base isn’t a good idea.

“I don’t think Chicopee, I don’t think Westover is a great location for that. The military base is being used for military purposes and it doesn’t have the facility to house for an unknown number of illegal immigrants,” Humason noted.

State Representative Joseph Wagner expressed similar concerns in a statement Friday.

Wagner explains that he is “deeply sympathetic to the plight of these children,” but notes he is opposed to the proposal because he believes that “immigration is a federal issue and must be resolved at that level.”

“The fact of the matter is this proposal would come at a cost to Chicopee residents and taxpayers. It would place a new and additional burden on our city at a time when people are already stretched too thin,” Wagner adds.

No final decisions have been made as to whether unaccompanied immigrant children will be coming to Westover. Patrick explained Friday that both Westover and Joint Base Cape Cod will have to be vetted by the federal government for their suitability.

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