As the state struggles to deal with an influx of migrants, Democratic Governor Maura Healey on Thursday ordered up to 250 soldiers of the Massachusetts National Guard to help at shelters and motels.
The action follows the governor’s proclamation of a state of emergency a few weeks prior due to the strain on the shelter system.
Healy issued a statement in which she said, “Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and we need all hands on deck to meet this moment and ensure families have access to safe shelter and basic services.”
Approximately 6,000 families, including expectant mothers and young children, are currently staying in emergency shelters in Massachusetts.
While the state searches for a long-term solution, the National Guard will assist the state in making sure that emergency needs, like food, transportation, medical attention, and education, are addressed at the state’s shelters.
Healy and her group visited with Americans last week. Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, will speak about the increasing number of immigrant families arriving in Massachusetts and will make a case for quick work authorizations so that the arrivals can start working.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded the city of Boston a $1.9 million grant to assist migrants with housing and transportation needs.
Over 20,000 people total, many of them migrants, reside in the state.