Massachusetts Governor Announces Immigrant Resettlement Plan

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) announced a $10.5 million taxpayer-funded resettlement program for illegal immigrants as state leaders project an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall this year.

Healey’s resettlement initiative authorizes state leaders to contract with eight resettlement agencies to relocate approximately 400 illegal immigrant families currently staying in state-run shelters by the end of 2024.

The $10.5 million one-year pilot program, the first of its kind in the country, aims to provide relief to the many emergency shelters in the state that have operated above capacity due to the surge in illegal immigration.

Seeking creative solutions to the illegal immigration problem, government leaders in several nearby states have asked residents to take illegal immigrants into their homes. In Boston, government leaders have commandeered schools, hotels, and community centers for emergency shelters.

Concerned citizens have reported multiple ongoing problems with these short-term solutions. Last fall, repeated reports of unrest compelled Healey to call in the National Guard to restore order to several shelters.

The spike in criminal activity, financial constraints and community outcry has pressured government leaders to look for longer-term solutions.

Last month, Healey imposed a cap on the number of illegal immigrants guaranteed shelter under state law.

WCVB News reported that Democrats are maneuvering to pass a new State Shelter Law, which would impose a 9-month limit on shelter stays while allocating an additional $245 million to expand shelter services.

The Boston Herald reported that Healey’s $10.5 million program will task resettlement agencies with providing illegal immigrants with employment and apartment housing. The agencies will also assist with job training and meeting the educational needs of children.

Jeff Thielman, CEO of the International Institute of New England, stated the resettlement agencies will connect illegal immigrants with jobs that will ensure “that they’re self-sufficient.”

Thielman pointed out that the United States is not providing shelter for those crossing the southern border into America the same way it has provided shelter to immigrants coming into the country from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Lauding what Democrat leaders in Massachusetts are attempting to do, Thielman said: “What the state is saying is, ‘Okay, well, the federal government is not doing what it did for Ukrainians and Afghans and we’re going to do the best we can with the resources we have so we’re going to let the resettlement agencies use their model and apply it to this new population.’”

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