Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency after failing to respond to the needs of immigrants arriving in the state in recent months. This measure corresponds to the inaction on immigration that, according to the Democratic leader, "has been years in the making."
"[Massachusetts] has stepped up to address what sadly has been a federal crisis of inaction that is many years in the making. The increased level of demand is not slowing down. We are unable to move people from housing and shelter into permanent housing," Healey said at a press conference Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House.
The number of immigrants arriving in Massachusetts in recent months has skyrocketed. According to the governor, there are approximately double the number of immigrants coming to the state now than a year ago:
That figure is 80 percent higher than it was just one year ago. It represents more than 20,000 people, growing every day. These families include newborns, very young children, and expecting mothers. And it is more families than our state has ever served … in our emergency assistance program. They are here because where they came from is too dangerous to stay.
Healey knows that the state's resources are not enough. Therefore, she appealed to the federal government to alleviate the migration crisis.
"But can we no longer do this alone. We need federal partnership, federal funding, and urgent federal action to meet this moment and to continue to serve some of our most vulnerable families," the governor said, while asserting that the relentless influx of immigrants "are the face" of the international migration crisis.
Massachusetts does not object to being a sanctuary state
In 2017, as Massachusetts attorney general, Healey positioned herself in favor of what are known as sanctuary cities when former President Donald Trump claimed he would eliminate public funding for locations where undocumented immigrants can take legal refuge:
Strong, independently-governed communities are part of what makes Massachusetts great. The President’s executive order is an irresponsible attempt to coerce our communities into conducting his mass deportations, and would impact all residents by stripping federal funding for roads, schools, police, health care, the elderly, and assistance for those in need. My office will be watching closely and I will be ready to stand with our cities and towns in the coming days.