By Bob Katzen

Gov. Healey declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts due to the “rapidly rising numbers of migrant families arriving in Massachusetts in need of shelter and services and a severe lack of shelter availability in the state.”

“State employees and our partners have been miracle workers throughout this crisis – going above and beyond to support families and using every tool at their disposal to expand shelter capacity by nearly 80 percent in the last year,” said Healey. “But in recent months, demand has increased to levels that our emergency shelter system cannot keep up with, especially as the number of families leaving shelters has dwindled due to a lack of affordable housing options and barriers to securing work.”

Healey continued, “I am declaring a state of emergency in Massachusetts and urging my partners in the federal government to take the action we need to address this crisis by streamlining the work authorization process and passing comprehensive immigration reform. Many of the new arrivals to our state desperately want to work, and we have historic workforce demands across all industries. I am also calling on all of our partners – from cities and towns to the faith community – philanthropic organizations and human service providers – to rise to this challenge and do whatever you can to help us meet this moment.”

The Healey administration also urged landlords, houses of worship, universities, businesses and private residents to open their facilities, homes and businesses to help house immigrants.

“This is not a crisis that our family shelter system was designed to handle,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll. “For months now, state government and our providers have been doing the work of stretching the system as far as it can safely go. But we really need to bring more people into this work to make it a true team effort. If you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Safe housing and shelter is our most pressing need.”

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance condemned what it calls “the Biden administration’s failure to properly secure the southern border and the Healey administration for being complacent.”

“Immigration should not be politicalized but the Biden administration is either playing politics
or we are watching a historic failure in leadership,” said Paul Craney, spokesman for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “While Washington’s dysfunction may seem far removed, their failures are now starting to have a very real and tangible negative impact in Massachusetts.”

Craney continued, “It’s no secret Gov. Maura Healey likes to travel out of state, perhaps it is time [for] the governor to take a trip to the southern border to see firsthand the open southern border crisis. Without recognizing the severity of the problem and reasons for it, which is an open border and unaccountable president, it will persist by draining resources from Massachusetts and its taxpayers.”

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