With thousands of immigrants flooding their shelters, another state is calling on the Biden administration to bail them out of a tough situation. Here’s how a humanitarian law and the border crisis combined to bring Massachusetts to the brink of disaster.
Cold, Hard Facts
As summer turned to fall, several large American cities have seen a growing number of immigrants filling their shelters beyond capacity.
With winter looming, it’s a problem that could have deadly consequences.
They Need the President
It’s also a crisis that has city and state officials throughout the north and east calling on the Biden administration to make some immediate changes.
‘Close the Border’
In New York City, for example, Mayor Eric Adams called on President Biden to close the border with Mexico.
That plea came even after Biden’s policy change that allowed migrants to enter the workforce more quickly.
Blown Away in ChiTown
Then, last month, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker called on Biden to send more federal aid to help the Windy City deal with its overflow of migrants.
Running for the Border
The problem stems from a huge increase in the number of people trying to enter the country through Mexico.
Many of them are refugees from other countries, with Venezuela being chief among them.
Take Sanctuary Somewhere Else
Most of that surge has come in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott says his state can’t handle them, either.
So he’s bussing them north to self-identified “sanctuary cities.”
He Has an Answer
If the federal government won’t help protect his state from the overrun, Abbott says, he’ll take care of the problem himself. This is his solution.
The Next to Fall
Now, with November and the holidays just around the corner, Massachusetts is the latest state to cry “mercy!” as immigrants continue to arrive day by day.
A Bigger Problem in New England
And, though Boston and seven other Massachusetts cities have declared themselves sanctuaries, the problem is a little more ironclad in the Bay State.
Proudly Sheltering for 40 Years
That’s because they actually have a state law on the books that requires them to house homeless families who land within their borders.
That so-called “right to shelter” was signed into law in 1983.
Running Out of Room
But now, with some 7500 families crowding into the state’s emergency shelters, Governor Maura Healey says the inn is just about full.
Governor Pulling Out All the Stops
Healey is creating new programs and hiring a former National Guard Lieutenant General to try and squeeze the most she can out of her limited resources.
There Are Limits
But, says the governor, “Our shelter system cannot expand indefinitely.” She, too, is calling on Washington for immediate help.
Set Your Sights Higher
Even the $250 million that Healey is requesting from the federal government might not be enough, though, according to Massachusetts Speaker of the House Ron Mariano.
Time Is Running Out
“It’s not going to solve the problem. It may not even get us to the end of the month,” Mariano told WCVB in an interview on October 15.
Rudderless Ship Leading the Way
Mariano also said he’s concerned that the “rudderless ship” in the U.S. House of Representatives is gumming up the works, referring to the ongoing Speaker debacle in Washington.
Times Have Changed
Meanwhile, Republican State Representative Steven Xiarhos and others want to suspend the right to shelter law, which they say is outdated and can’t account for the current situation.
No Place to Run
So as the politicians argue and point fingers every which direction, migrants continue to land in America only to find there’s no more room at the end.
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