Tuesday 26 March 2024

Massachusetts Burning $75 Million A Month On Shelters, May Soon Run Out Of Cash Amid Migrant Crisis

 Massachusetts is spending about $75 million a month on shelters and is reportedly on track to run out of cash next month as officials struggle to contend with a migrant crisis.

Democrat Governor Maura Healey’s administration has not revealed exactly when the money is slated to run out, but it is expected to be sometime in early or mid-April, according to the Boston Herald.

“We don’t have any further updates at this time. We are encouraged by the progress the Legislature has made and look forward to working with them to finalize the supplemental budget as soon as possible,” Matt Murphy, spokesman for the administration’s Executive Office for Administration & Finance, told the news outlet.

Massachusetts has seen an influx of thousands of migrants in recent months that has strained the state’s shelter system as well as its finances.

About 7,500 families are currently living in emergency assistance shelters, and another 240 families are currently living at state overflow sites. Those numbers do not take into account the thousands more single migrants and homeless Americans housed in the shelters.

The state legislature is currently negotiating a new spending plan with lawmakers working to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s budget to fund the government’s response to the migrant crisis.

“I’m hopeful that once we get into this discussion with our counterparts that we’ll be able to produce something with time to spare in terms of any funding running out,” House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, a Democrat, told the outlet.

Massachusetts will soon start requiring migrants at the shelters to start showing they are attempting to obtain work or housing, the Healey administration announced Monday.

Healey warned in October that the state could no longer guarantee shelter for migrant families as the shelter system reached capacity due to a flood of illegal migrants.

“We are entering a new phase of this challenge — we can no longer guarantee shelter placement for families who are sent here,” Healey said at the time.

In August, Healey declared a state of emergency over the migrant issue and activated 250 state National Guard members to aid shelters and hotels that are housing migrants.

Since then, Healey has urged the Biden administration to provide federal aid to Massachusetts for the crisis, as well as to speed up the work visa approval process for migrants.

Other states and cities are also struggling with a huge influx of illegal migrants who have arrived in recent months.

New York City has a similar shelter crisis with more than 183,000 migrants arriving since spring of 2022. Chicago has seen more than 37,000 migrants arrive since the summer of 2022.

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