Massachusetts authorities, facing a significant influx of migrants, have taken the step of deploying the national guard. They are currently in urgent need of additional housing options. Concurrently, humanitarian organizations report reaching their capacity, and there is a notable presence of protests in response to this situation.
On Thursday, Governor Maura Healey authorized the activation of 250 members from the Massachusetts National Guard. Their primary role is to assist in the transportation of the most recent group of asylum seekers to various shelters throughout the state.
However, similar to the situation unfolding in New York City, Massachusetts is facing a severe shortage of housing and resources to adequately manage the current surge.
“Right now, the non-profits that are in Massachusetts are stretched and so thin they cannot provide anymore staff.”
Although the National Guard can assist in alleviating the manpower shortage, the state’s ability to address the housing shortage is limited, with the primary option being the establishment of new shelters. This approach faces strong opposition from local residents.
On Saturday, a significant number of demonstrators gathered at the Yarmouth Resort motel, which the state intends to allocate for migrant families. A substantial portion of these families includes Haitian immigrants who have been displaced by natural calamities.
The protesters asserted that the state has given preference to the requirements of the migrants over those of its own homeless residents, including veterans. Many demonstrators displayed signs at the rally bearing the message, “Vets and Cape Homeless First!!”
The Yarmouth hotel is just one among over 1,500 temporary hotels and newly established shelters that have been established across the state since 2022.
Collectively, officials approximate that there are around 6,000 families, equivalent to over 20,000 individuals, presently residing in state shelters.
The situation in Massachusetts closely resembles the year-long challenge experienced in New York City in providing housing for the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived there.
Just last week, a gathering of at least 400 people took place in Staten Island to express their opposition to the conversion of a closed Catholic school into a makeshift shelter with 300 beds.
In the last twelve months, over 104,000 migrants from the US-Mexico border have been transported to the five boroughs, and close to 56,000 of them are currently being accommodated by the city.
This unprecedented surge in numbers spilled onto the streets of Manhattan just last month, as numerous migrants were compelled to sleep outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown. The hotel had been repurposed as a processing center.