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Proposed Migrant Shelter Legislation Fails to Address Core Issue

Proposed Migrant Shelter Legislation Fails to Address Core Issue

March 5, 2024


The newly proposed legislation by the Democrats regarding the migrant crisis allocates $245 million to emergency shelter and imposes limits on migrants’ duration in the system, allowing them to stay for up to nine months initially, with the chance to extend their stay for an additional three months. This legislation merely gives the illusion of taking action and fails to address the underlying issue.


MassGOP Chairwoman, Amy Carnevale, commented on the proposal stating, “The proposed legislation falls short of tackling the core issue of the migrant crisis. It fails to stem the ongoing flow of migrants into the Commonwealth and preserves the benefits provided to migrants upon their arrival in Massachusetts. Moreover, it imposes restrictions on the timeframe for long-term residents to participate in the program. Rather than addressing the migrant crisis by reforming the Right to Shelter Law, it narrows its coverage, thereby diminishing protections for the individuals it was initially designed to safeguard. This cannot even be considered a temporary solution because it maintains the incentives for migrants to enter Massachusetts.”


“The legislation suggests that individuals in the program can extend their time by three months if they secure employment. However, it’s unrealistic to expect someone who arrives in the United States without understanding the language to secure a job that would allow them to afford living in our already unaffordable state once their time in the program is concluded. This bill not only falls short of addressing the issue adequately but also fails to alter our circumstances; instead, it exacerbates the problem by pouring more funds into it. The most effective approach to resolving this crisis is by implementing residency requirements based on the duration of one’s residence in the Commonwealth to qualify for access to these services,” Carnevale concluded.


Senator Peter Durant remarked on the legislation stating, “I commend my colleagues for their efforts to take action, but this legislation is severely lacking. Once the nine months are up for a migrant and they leave the program, without addressing the ongoing influx, a new migrant will simply fill that spot. Not to mention the potential volatile situation that could be created if the state starts actively evicting families from hotel rooms. We must tackle the root cause of this crisis and this bill fails to do that.”