McGovern Backs Patrick’s Offer To House Border-Crossing Children At Westover, While Kos Remains Skeptical

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern says he supports Governor Patrick’s offer to temporarily shelter Central American children who are crossing the southern border. But local officials remain skeptical.

Congressman McGovern says the nation has an obligation to help the children get the refuge they need.

“These are kids who are fleeing persecution. These are kids who many of them may very well be killed if they’re sent back. So we need to get this right,” says McGovern.

Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is one of locations being considered to house the children. But Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos says he’s not convinced Westover is the best spot.

“When I’m told by officials there indicating that there is no housing available; the housing that’s there now is utilized by reservists during the week, on weekends for all their operations. It just doesn’t make sense to locate there,” says Kos.

A Westover spokesperson confirmed that housing on the base is limited. And Kos says he’s worried about the financial strain on his community if the children are moved there. Governor Patrick and Congressman McGovern have said the federal government has an obligation to cover all costs.