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Massachusetts Governor Calls Up National Guard To Deal With Migrant Crisis

Massachusetts is in crisis mode as the state’s migrant shelters have reached capacity. The National Guard was officially deployed Wednesday as “rapid response teams” to meet the state’s need, and Governor Maura Healey is urging the federal government to do more as pressure mounts on President Biden to address the issue.

More than 6,000 migrating families are currently in temporary shelters, and the state must provide emergency housing to everyone in need due to “right to shelter” laws. The National Guard will team up with 40 hotels and motels that don’t have service providers to offer meals, medical care, and transportation to migrant families.

“Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and we need all hands on deck to meet this moment and ensure families have access to safe shelter and basic services,” Governor Healy said in a statement.

The state has opened up Joint Base Cape Cod as a temporary solution and can house up to 60 migrant families, but filled up within two days of opening. In response to the crisis, Boston received a $1.9 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with providing shelter and transportation.

Furthermore, Governor Healy has called for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security to remove barriers to work permits and outdated laws to help maintain the influx of migrating families entering the state. She also emphasized in her letter to Secretary Mayorkas the need for affordable housing in the state.

As of now, Massachusetts is not the only state to be in a state of emergency due to the influx of migrating families. Houston, Texas recently halted the intake of families at migrant shelters due to capacity issues, and other cities such as Denver, Colorado, and San Diego, California are facing similar issues.

The National Guard’s rapid response team deployment in Massachusetts is a sign of the increasing urgency of the situation, as Governor Healey is calling on Biden to act quickly.

For now, it is important to recognize the limitations of the state to address the migration crisis alone and to encourage a unified effort that can prevent further issues from arising. As communities across the U.S. are impacted by the migration crisis, it is crucial to recognize the need for both federal and state-level support in order to find a sustainable solution.

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