Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has turned down a request to meet with local officials in Chicopee about a proposal to shelter immigrant children at Westover air base.
The request came Thursday from Mayor Richard Kos and state Rep. Joe Wagner, but Patrick was clear on Friday when asked about the invitation to chicopee
” Well, I don’t intend to go,” Patrick told reporters. “The rep’s been briefed. The mayor’s been briefed. When and if the federal government decides they want to use Westover, they’ll be plenty of time to engage.”
In a statement, Kos said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by Patrick’s reply. He said the invitation remains open.
Later in the afternoon, according to an email provided by Kos’ office, Patrick’s office offered to send the state’s health and human services secretary, John Polanowicz, to meet with Kos and Wagner.
Westover is one of two federal military bases that Patrick cited last week as possible locations to temporarily shelter up to 1,000 unaccompanied children who’ve crossed into the U.S. illegally.
New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp, Sarah Birnbaum and Sam Hudzik contributed to this report.