Illegal Immigrants Sleeping At Logan Airport, Something Maura Healey Said Two Months Ago She Hoped Wouldn’t Happen

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/01/27/illegal-immigrants-sleeping-at-logan-airport-something-maura-healey-said-two-months-ago-she-hoped-wouldnt-happen/

Illegal immigrants have been sleeping on the floors at Terminal E at Logan Airport in Boston as Massachusetts continues to get an influx of migrants looking to capitalize on its right-to-shelter law.

“We continue to see migrants at the airport on a daily basis,” Massport spokesman Jennifer Mehigan said, according to Fox News. “They come to Logan a number of ways — some fly in, but the majority do not. They also arrive at Logan at all hours.”

Massport has no estimate of how many migrants are sleeping at the airport daily.

The airport has staff who speak Haitian Creole and Spanish helping these people take shelter in the airport; the airport is working with the state to transport these people to so-called “welcome centers,” which provide migrants with various services, resources, and transportation, according to the report.

“Frankly, what you’ve seen at Logan has been the situation, and this is why I said months ago that we are reaching capacity here,” Healey said at a press conference earlier in the week, according to Yahoo News.

Healey said there have not been any incidents at the airport despite this influx of people. She also praised Logan Airport and the state police for managing the situation.

Healey added that the state needs help from the federal government and argues that the state has not created this migrant problem.

“The bottom line here is that we really are reaching, have reached capacity,” Healey said, according to The Lowell Sun. “I just continue to express in the strongest terms possible, that’s why we need action at the federal government. This is not a problem that Massachusetts created. However, it’s a problem that we’re having to deal with right now.”

This comes after Healey told WCVB in November 2023 that she hoped the migrant situation in Massachusetts would not get bad enough to the point where people were sleeping at Logan Airport and in emergency rooms — which in the case of Logan, at least, came to pass.

Large numbers of migrants are not sleeping at Logan every day.  NewBostonPost reporters visited Terminal E twice on Friday — once in the early afternoon, and once mid-evening — and found only a handful of migrants. A person who works at Logan on Friday night told NewBostonPost that the worker has not seen migrants on every night-time shift.

Here’s what the migrants’ area at Terminal E at Logan looked like at 8:25 p.m. Friday, January 26:

 

Only a handful of people congregate at a far lower-level area of Terminal E at Logan International Airport in East Boston at 8:25 p.m. Friday, January 26, 2024. Photo by M.J. McDonald for New Boston Post.

 

Massachusetts is the only state with a “statutory obligation to provide shelter to families without housing and pregnant women,” according to State House News Service. It is a result of the state’s 1983 right-to-shelter law — which has no residency or citizenship requirement attached to it.

As a result, people can come to Massachusetts and get taxpayer-funded housing; that includes free stays at motels, among other placements.

Massachusetts hit its 7,500-family cap on emergency shelter housing in November 2023, but people from other countries have kept coming. The state put an extra $250 million into its emergency shelter system in the fall, contributing to a budget shortfall that resulted in Governor Healey making $375 million in budget cuts earlier this month — including money that would have gone to local fire departments. 

“The ongoing situation at Logan Airport is a clear reflection of the consequences stemming from the Healey Administration’s inaction on the migrant crisis,” Massachusetts Republican Party chairwoman Amy Carnevale said in a press release from the MassGOP. “Several months ago, Republicans in the legislature warned that such a scenario would unfold, emphasizing the need for reforms to the Right to Shelter Law. It’s evident that the 7,500 family cap is not being respected, leading to a continuous influx of migrant families seeking shelter in Massachusetts.”

“While this is, in part, a direct result of failures by the Biden administration, Massachusetts must take measures to mitigate the influx of migrants into our state,” Carnevale added.

Additionally, Massachusetts has eight sanctuary cities, according to CBS News. They are Amherst, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Concord, Newton, Northampton, and Somerville. Critics argue this also attracts illegal immigrants to the Commonwealth, among other incentives.

 

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