Migrants sleeping at Boston airport to be removed as ban goes into effect

Jul 9, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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Dozens of migrants sleeping on the floors of Boston’s Logan International Airport will be forced to leave by the end of the day as a new state rule banning the practice goes into effect.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey announced last month that migrants had until July 9 to leave the airport and that they would be offered free tax-payer-funded accommodation at a former minimum-security dorm-like facility in Norfolk. That deadline is now here, and the migrants are set to be ordered out today. 

Days before the announcement, nearly 300 migrants had been using Terminal E at the airport as a shelter – lining the floors of Boston’s main air hub with makeshift beds and air mattresses – but that number had dwindled to 56 by Monday, according to WCVB.

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“We’ve also made clear to those who might think about coming to Massachusetts that we’re not going to be able to provide housing, nor are you going to be able to stay at Logan Airport anymore,” Healey said. 

The state refurbished Massachusetts’ Bay State Correctional Center, a former minimum-security dorm-like facility, which opened last month and can accommodate 140 migrants and homeless families, or about 450 people. The facility is located on the grounds of Massachusetts Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison. 

The re-purposed dorm is currently housing 105 people, many of whom were staying at Logan Airport, WCVB reports.

Migrants currently at Logan are being offered accommodation at Bay State while others are being offered transfers to other new “safety-net” sites, the Healey administration told Fox News Digital in a statement last month. 

Migrant families at the Norfolk site have access to showers and bathrooms on each floor, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a large common room and offices that are used for case management and administrative activities. 

There are also play areas for children along with classroom spaces for adults to learn English and get job training. The site is staffed 24/7 by a contracted service provider, and families are provided with transportation on and off site. 

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It is unclear how much the entire operation will cost taxpayers. Fox News Digital reached out to the Healey administration for comment on this story but did not immediately receive a response. 

The administration said last month it has been increasing its efforts to provide migrants with housing assistance, work authorization applications, job placements and English classes.

Massachusetts has been forced to get tough on new migrants coming to the state in search of housing, with officials last month traveling to the southern border to tell border officials, NGOs and migrants that the state is out of shelter space.

The Healey administration also put out flyers in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole to let new migrants know that they will have to plan for housing in Massachusetts that does not include Logan Airport or the state’s shelter system. 

Last summer, Healey declared a state of emergency over the surge of migrants into the state as it struggled to get a grip on the crisis. The state has said that it is obliged to cater to the migrants because of a 1983 state law which was passed to deal with the relatively small number of homeless families and pregnant women, although critics have said the law does not apply to migrants who are not U.S. citizens.

Norfolk has a population of about 11,500, and some residents fumed in May when they heard about the facility being turned into a migrant shelter. The town voted heavily in favor of President Biden in 2020. 

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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, however, welcomed the governor’s decision and said the federal government needs to step up and help.

“This is a federal challenge that has been pushed down to the cities and states that are considered more welcoming than others, so it has been a real struggle,” Wu said, according to Boston 25 News. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to Wu’s office for additional comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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