Boston says it's overrun by illegal immigrants, plans to put them in veterans' housing

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Boston is preparing to house illegal immigrants in former veterans' housing as the city's resources have been stretched thin since Democratic Gov. Maura Healey declared a state of emergency over the surge last summer.

The Veterans Home in Chelsea will become a “safety net” for migrants where, starting May 1, they will have to prove they are working to get off government assistance by applying for work permits, learning English and seeking permanent residence.

“We have been saying for months now that our system is at capacity and we do not have the space, suppliers or funding to continue to expand,” Emergency Relief Director Scott said this week Rice.

“This new certification policy is a responsible step to address capacity constraints at our safety net sites. Families will need to demonstrate that they have taken steps to get on the path to independence and exit the shelter.

Massachusetts closes community center to public to shelter migrants, sparking backlash

Migrants queuing at the border

Migrants on the front lines are processed for entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital)

Healey's office says the new requirements come as the state's emergency family shelter system, which houses migrant families with homeless children or pregnant women, has been overwhelmed for months.

According to the state's website, the veterans home “provides housing and long-term care programs to eligible Massachusetts veterans.” Healey's office said the site has been vacant and slated for demolition since the state reopened a larger center atop Powder Horn Hill in December.

“Families will be allowed to remain at the sites as long as they continue to receive these services and activities,” Healey’s office said in a news release Monday.


Beds for migrants at a Massachusetts shelter

A worker walks through the more than 300 Army cots located in the gymnasium as state and local officials tour the Melnea A. Cass Recreation Complex, which will house more than 300 migrants. (John Tumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


Jon Santiago, Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Services, said, “This project operates independently and will have no impact on the daily routines or services of the Massachusetts Veterans Home in Chelsea.

240 families live in safety net sites, while 7,500 families reside in state emergency shelters.

The migrant crisis has been complex for Massachusetts. The state's newest emergency shelter, located in Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston, reached its capacity to house 400 people in just one week last month.

New York City, Chicago and New York State all made emergency declarations last year and called for help in response to the migrant crisis.

Nikolas Lanum and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.


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