A group of migrants were forced to move to Boston’s Logan Airport because they ran out of beds to sleep in the “sanctuary city.”
On Friday, a group of up to 20 people, including children, were seen sleeping under blankets on benches.
They arrived in Boston as Massachusetts’ shelter cap has reached its maximum and there is uncertainty about how best to spend $250 million on emergency shelters.
These migrants were placed on a waiting list after the state’s emergency housing system reached its capacity of 7,500 families last week.
Massachusetts has a shelter-in-place law that requires housing for the homeless, but Gov. Maura Healey has warned there are no more places left in the state.
Migrants forced to move to Boston airport because they ran out of beds to sleep in the ‘sanctuary city’
On Friday, a group of up to 20 people, including small children, were seen sleeping under blankets on benches
Massachusetts has a shelter law that requires it provide housing for the homeless, but Gov. Maura Healey (pictured) has warned there are no more places in the state
Migrant families have been sheltering at Boston Logan International Airport as the city continues to grapple with a surge in demand for shelters.
People slept on benches with blankets over their heads, and mothers were seen holding their infants in the airport terminal.
The migrants are said to have flown in from San Antonio, Texas, with their belongings strewn across the floor.
Gov. Healey, a Democrat, warned others considering going to Massachusetts that there was no room left.
“Right now, Massachusetts, as far as where to go, winter is coming, it’s going to get cold, we just can’t promise you a bed,” she said Friday.
State police and airport workers removed migrants from airport terminals.
Massachusetts Port Authority interim CEO Edward Freni said: “We must emphasize that Logan Airport is not an appropriate place to receive people.
“Some people come late in the evening, we try to help them if we see them, but usually early in the morning we accommodate them and transfer them to the centers.”
Elsewhere in Boston, migrants crowded into the Immigration Family Services Institute (IFSI) office in Mattapan to seek help.
However, the waiting list for people in need of shelter is still long.
“We’re talking about Thanksgiving when everyone will enjoy a meal with their family,” said Dr. Geralde Gabeau, executive director of IFSI.
“So what will move those who will be placed on the streets, after all the trauma and hardship they have endured, to be here?
“And everyone enjoys their meal. For me, being out in the cold on the street is unacceptable.”
White House senior adviser Tom Perez said the work authorization clinic that opened this week has already served more than 1,000 migrants.
Migrant families have been sheltering at Boston Logan International Airport as the city continues to grapple with a surge in demand for shelters
Inside the airport terminal, people slept on the floor and on benches with blankets over their heads
They were placed on a waiting list after the state’s emergency housing system reached its limit of 7,500 families last week
“We will continue these efforts in the coming weeks to support more eligible migrants applying for work permits,” he added.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting local jurisdictions welcoming recently arrived migrants, and we will continue to work with our partners in Massachusetts in the coming weeks and months.”
The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday ended its formal session this year without an agreement on a $2.8 billion spending bill that would include hundreds of millions of dollars to help state shelters that are buckling under pressure from migrant and homeless families.
Both the House and Senate bills would direct $250 million to the shelter system, but a conference committee was unable to resolve other differences prematurely on Thursday.
Lawmakers went into the holiday break with uncertainty that clouded the state’s response to the shelter failure.
Some groups held lawmakers in contempt for failing to act. The Massachusetts Teachers Association said in a statement that it was “shocked and, frankly, disgusted” by lawmakers’ inaction on the supplemental budget.
“This is yet another stain on a Legislature struggling to fulfill its responsibilities to serve the public good,” the union, which represents 117,000 members, said in a statement.
Across the region, aid supporters used a patchwork of temporary shelters, including churches, hospital waiting rooms and even airport waiting areas.
The increase in demand is partly due to immigrant families coming to the state. According to Democratic Gov. Healey’s administration, about half of the people currently staying in shelters are new arrivals to Massachusetts.
The administration is working with groups to find temporary housing but has been reluctant to reveal some details of its plan, including the location of a clinic it is sponsoring with the Department of Homeland Security to help migrants obtain work permits.
Lawmakers don’t formally reconvene for votes until the new year, but they could resolve differences in informal sessions. However, legislative rules make it easier for bills to be derailed during informal meetings.