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Massachusetts Mayor: Stop Sending Refugees

Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The mayor of a Massachusetts city is calling for an end to refugee resettlement there.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says Somali families are putting pressure on already strained services. Springfield was once an industrial center where nearly a third of the population now lives below the poverty line.

The refugees say they have found a better life and many feel they are being scapegoated.

Sarno is the latest mayor to seek a halt to refugee resettlement, joining leaders of other small cities including Lewiston, Maine, and Manchester, New Hampshire.

A State Department spokesman says such requests are rare. He says the government’s work with refugees in Springfield is mostly about family reunification and it cannot keep families from moving there if they are placed elsewhere.

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