Facing a severe shelter shortage due to a surge in migrants, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll has called on state residents to aid in housing migrants.
This follows a state of emergency declaration by Democratic Governor Maura Healey, who has expressed hope that the declaration will secure additional federal funding and faster work permits for immigrants.
In a startling move that has raised eyebrows across Massachusetts, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll urged the state’s residents on Wednesday to open their doors and house migrants.
This request followed the declaration of a state of emergency by Democratic Governor Maura Healey amidst a surge in migrants.
Driscoll’s appeal to residents, asking them to host migrant families in their homes, strikes many as not just risky but potentially jeopardizing the safety of the state’s citizens.
Entrusting the welfare and security of families to individuals, without the rigorous checks and systems that official agencies maintain, can be a recipe for unforeseen complications.
Governor Healey, speaking from Boston’s State House, framed this alarming migrant surge as a “national issue that demands a national response.”
Yet, her decision to put the onus on residents to “offer a helping hand” is causing concern among many who believe this approach lacks foresight and the necessary precautions.
As a ‘right to shelter’ state, Massachusetts is obligated to provide emergency housing to families in distress.
However, with nearly 5,600 families or over 20,000 individuals currently in the state’s shelter system, the question arises: Is the state shirking its responsibility by leaning on its citizens?
Healey cites federal immigration policies, the dwindling availability of affordable housing, and the termination of COVID-era programs as contributing factors to this migrant crisis.
But her hope that an emergency declaration might bring more federal funds and expedite immigrant work permits, while pushing locals to take direct action, seems to some as passing the buck rather than creating a structured, safe solution.