Around New England

Bourne Officials Planning To Enforce Three-Week Stay At Motels To Try To Limit Migrants

September 28, 2023

The town of Bourne’s board of health is planning to enforce a town regulation limiting motel stays to three weeks in order to try to limit the number of migrants in town.

Fifty-five children from migrant families were in Bourne public schools as of earlier this month, town administrator Marleen McCollem told Bourne selectmen on September 5, according to The Cape Cod Times.

“This is an ongoing restriction that we’ve enforced in the town on a regular basis, for a long time. And it’s not something new. So, I think it’s important we stick to it. … We are a summer community, and that’s why we have those restrictions,” Bourne selectman Jared McDonald said during a joint meeting of the town’s board of health and board of selectmen on September 19 (at 35:50 of the video).

Bourne, a town of about 20,000 at the beginning of Cape Cod, is the town all land vehicles must pass through to get to the rest of the Cape. Both bridges for cars and trucks and the railroad bridge over the Cape Cod Canal are in Bourne.

The town’s board of health during the September 19 meeting discussed a draft letter informing motel owners that they cannot allow guests to stay longer than three weeks because the board has a responsibility to look after “the health, safety, and welfare of the community.” The board voted 5-0 to approve the letter (starting at 40:07 of the video).

Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency August 8 because of the “rapidly rising numbers of migrant families arriving in Massachusetts.”


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