Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, a Democrat, Wednesday activated 250 members of the state’s National Guard as “rapid response teams” to provide assistance to overwhelmed shelters for illegal aliens.
Healey’s activation of Guard troops follows her declaration of a state of emergency several weeks ago due to the immense pressure on the shelter system, according to a Fox News report.
“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,” Healey said.
More than 6,000 illegal aliens and their families are housed in emergency shelters throughout Massachusetts, the report noted.
As a state that designates shelter as a right, Massachusetts is obligated to offer emergency housing to individuals in dire need.
To address the immediate requirements, National Guard members were dispatched to 40 hotels and motels lacking service providers. Their role, Healey said, is to facilitate access to meals, medical care and transportation.
“The plan that we have in place today with the deployment of the National Guard, which happened just last month, will put National Guard staff, soldiers, in locations as part of a response to our non-service providers, essentially creating rapid response teams in places that we don’t have the ground service contractors or case management services happening on a regular basis,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll.
WFXT Boston 25 News reported that Driscoll informed the Local Government Advisory Commission the state gets 20 to 35 families each day seeking shelter, with occasional surges to as many as 55 families.
“All of our typical emergency shelter sites were filled a month ago,” Driscoll noted, emphasizing the urgency of finding alternative shelter locations.
The state opened Joint Base Cape Cod as a temporary shelter in June, according to the Fox report. Designed to accommodate up to 60 migrant families, Driscoll revealed that the base “filled up within two days.”
The ongoing crisis from illegal immigration has led state Democrats, including Healey, to urge President Joe Biden to take more decisive action. Healey declared a state of emergency in August, appealing for increased funding and assistance from the federal government.
“Many of these families are migrants to Massachusetts, drawn here because we are and proudly have been a beacon to those in need,” Healey wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
She attributed the crisis 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.”
The Mass. Democrat also urged Mayorkas to engage Congress and employ executive action to simplify the process for migrants to obtain work permits.
She further suggested the administration modernize “outdated and punitive immigration laws” and extend additional financial support to Massachusetts.
In the wake of Massachusetts’ pleas for aid, Boston was granted a $1.9 million fund from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist illegal aliens with shelter and transportation needs, the report noted.