Migrant Crisis Spurs National Guard Deployment

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey | Image by Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey deployed 250 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to assist with the ongoing unlawful migrant crisis in the state.

As a right-to-shelter state, Massachusetts is required to find housing for each of the more than 6,000 unlawful migrant families across the state, according to Fox News.

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll told the Local Government Advisory Commission that the state has an additional 20-35 families seeking emergency shelter each day and that the number can reach as high as 55 families at times, reported WFXT Boston 25 News.

She added that the Joint Base Cape Cod military base was briefly used as an emergency shelter, but it “filled up within two days,” with the influx of families “[creating] an immediate need to try and find spaces.”

In an attempt to better manage the situation, Healey activated the National Guard on August 31 to provide resources and services to shelters.

Healey said in a statement back then that the state government will continue to work on a permanent solution but “the National Guard will provide an efficient and effective means of delivering these services and keeping everybody safe.”

“Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and we need all hands-on deck to meet this moment and ensure families have access to safe shelter and basic services,” she added.

Driscoll said that National Guard members will be placed at “unstaffed” shelters that are housing families, per WFXT Boston.

Each member will be assigned to a shelter site, where they will help to “facilitate the onsite coordination of services such as food, basic needs, transportation, and medical care delivered by the site, external vendors, community organizations, and state and local government,” according to Healey’s statement.

Additionally, the members will assist local school districts in enrolling children in schools that fit their needs.

Healey previously addressed the ongoing migrant crisis in the state when she declared a state of emergency on August 8 due to a “severe lack of shelter availability in the state.”

A letter sent by Healey one day earlier to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas referenced a “confusing tangle of immigration laws and an inability for new arrivals to obtain work authorization from the federal government.”

The letter requested that the federal government streamline the process for obtaining work authorization, as it would provide “an opportunity to meet employer needs, support our economy, and reduce dependency among new arrivals.”

Healey said on Tuesday that she had not received a response.

“They need to act now. We need federal funds here to help address this. We need the Biden administration to provide expedited work authorizations. The new arrivals desperately want to work. Having talked to many of them, they are desperate to work and they can be put to work tomorrow if we have expedited work authorization,” she said, per WFXT Boston.

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