Nov 18, 2015 9:20 AM

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard says NH could welcome up to 500 refugees

MANCHESTER – After Gov. Maggie Hassan said she believes N.H. should temporarily halt accepting Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks, members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in Manchester said the Granite State could welcome almost 500 refugees in all.

READ: Gov. Maggie Hassan's view of Syrian refugees draws criticism

According to the Union Leader, the board voted against a motion giving Mayor Ted Gatsas the power to keep refugees out of Manchester.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said members of the FBI told Manchester police as many as 500 refugees could come to the state.

Willard said of almost 9,000 refugees from various countries headed to the U.S., 500 of them could come to the Granite State, according to the FBI.

The motion was rejected on a roll call vote, with Aldermen Dan O’Neil, Tom Katsiantonis, Bill Barry, Normand Gamache, Pat Long, Jim Roy, Tony Sapienza, and Garth Corriveau voting against it.

Aldermen Joyce Craig, Bill Shea and Ron Ludwig abstained.

Aldermen Joseph Kelly Levasseur, Barbara Shaw and Aldermen Keith Hirschmann voted in favor of the motion.

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