Officials in Massachusetts are asking residents to take illegal migrants into their homes. Reports suggest that the state has run out of hotels and other venues, and Governor Maura Healey has declared a state of emergency.
In a statement released last August, Governor Healey called on the federal government to provide extra help, and said the number of migrants arriving in the state was “rapidly rising.” Healey also wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and told him that lack of work authorization was “a primary driver of the crisis.” She asked for these to be expedited.
Also last year, Healey established Immigrant Assistance Services (IAS) to “support up to 800 individuals and families who are currently living in DHCD homeless shelter placements.” The program would help immigrants access taxpayer-funded services and advice, including legal advice.
Days after the Governor declared a state of emergency, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll first suggested that homeowners should provide shelter. “If you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family,” she said.
More recently, on January 12, a newly formed group called the Immigrant Support Alliance held an event in Melrose, Massachusetts, to provide information on how private homeowners could open up their houses to illegal immigrants.
A flyer for the event was posted to Twitter, with some users commenting that Elon Musk was right, “They’re going to come for our private homes.”
Mr. Musk recently posted a tweet commenting on a New York school that sent its students home to free up the building for migrant accommodation. “They’ve run out of hotel rooms, are kicking kids out of school for illegal housing, and now they want your homes too,” he wrote.
Massachusetts is the only state in America with “right to housing” laws, meaning the government is obliged to house families (though not individuals). Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr said people are worried for their safety and are concerned that taking in migrants may become mandatory.