New Springfield Coalition Speaks Out on Refugees, Wants Meeting with Mayor

A newly formed group of non-profits, activists and religious leaders is denouncing a request Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno made to the State Department. Sarno wants to halt refugee placements in the city for the next year.

Sarno’s letter cited a strain on Springfield’s school system, housing conditions and a high rate of crime against refugees, as his reasons for asking for the moratorium.  Kathryn Buckley-Brawner is the director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield, which assists refugees and others.

“The publicly inhospitable stance take by the Sarno administration has made the refugees the target, for anyone, who wants to deflect the blame for the ills of the city, and place it at the feet of an already vulnerable group.”, Buckley-Brawner says. 

Buckley-Brawner says the group wants to meet with Sarno to discuss ways to improve conditions for refugees.
 
“I think that we can do better if we all work together. And that does mean speaking with each other, getting our facts straight and facing some, perhaps, not-so-pretty truths about everything.”, Buckley-Brawner says.
 
A spokesperson for Sarno said in a statement that the mayor has met with several members of the coalition before and quote “is more than happy to meet with them again.”