Democratic Mayor Releases Major Statement With State Overwhelmed by Migrant Crisis

On Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey proclaimed a state of emergency in the predominantly liberal state, citing a rise in migrants that has, according to her, put a strain on social services. She has also requested additional funding and assistance from the federal government.

A Democrat, Healey made the announcement that a state of emergency has been declared "due to rapid and unabating increases in the number of families with children and pregnant people — many of them newly arriving migrants and refugees — living within the state but without the means to secure safe shelter in our communities."

According to the state, the shelter system is currently housing nearly 5,600 families, or over 20,000 individuals. Healey attributed the situation to several factors, including "federal policies on immigration and work authorization," as well as the scarcity of affordable housing and the cessation of programs related to the COVID era.

Massachusetts has joined the ranks of other predominantly liberal areas in seeking assistance from the federal government, following a rise in migrants, even though it's far removed from the embattled southern border. Earlier this year, emergency declarations were made by New York City, Chicago, and the state of New York, all in response to an influx of migrants.

These regions, though only receiving a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving at the border monthly, have announced themselves as overwhelmed and filled to capacity.

In July, Healey noted that 100 families were seeking emergency shelter daily, while the numbers departing from shelter had dropped by two-thirds since 2019. The expenses for these programs are now reaching $45 million a month.

"Many of these families are migrants to Massachusetts, drawn here because we are and proudly have been a beacon to those in need," Healey articulated in a letter addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Furthermore, she attributed the situation to "a confusing tangle of immigration laws, an inability for migrants to obtain work authorization from the federal government, an increase in the number of people coming to Massachusetts, and the lack of an affordable housing supply in our state."

Healey urged Mayorkas to push Congress and employ executive action to clear the path for work permits for migrants, "address our outdated and punitive immigration laws," and grant extra financial support to the state.

Mayorkas himself has repeatedly mirrored these calls, and the administration continues to appeal to Congress for further funding at the border. There's an ongoing effort by the administration to pass an immigration reform bill introduced on President Biden's first day in office.

However, these appeals for financial support and immigration amendments have encountered resistance, particularly from Republicans. They have objected to the 2021 proposal's inclusion of mass amnesty for millions of undocumented migrants. Instead, Republicans favor closing asylum loopholes and enhancing border security, demonstrated by House Republicans introducing and passing substantial legislation earlier this year.

Adding to the debate, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., expressed her frustration last week that New York City was obtaining federal funds to manage migrants rather than border states.

"What we’re experiencing here in Arizona is matched only by what folks are experiencing in southern Texas," Sinema stated. "Those are the two communities that are experiencing this crisis. The rest of the country is experiencing some elements of it, but we are experiencing the brunt."

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