State Activates National Guard to Address Migrant Crisis

( – Massachusetts has called in the National Guard as the immigration crisis deepens. Democratic Governor Maura Healey took the action following a raft of complaints by aid agencies amid an influx of illegal immigrants. Healey has mobilized 250 National Guard members to help bus immigrants to homeless shelters across the state as services become overwhelmed.

State Senator Jamie Eldridge said, “Right now, the non-profits that are in Massachusetts are stretched so thin that they cannot provide any more staff.”

In August, the local press reported that thousands of families were arriving in small towns throughout the Bay State, and Governor Healey said she received funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with resettlement. But much like leaders in New York and Los Angeles, she said the federal government must provide more help and funding. The governor also wants migrants to have the right to work.

Haitian migrants, in particular, are arriving in large numbers, and earlier in the year, hundreds turned up at a Boston Hospital and slept in the lobby until accommodations could be found.

Massachusetts is not formally a “sanctuary state,” unlike New York and California, where leaders have both complained about an influx of migrants, but the state capital, Boston, is a designated sanctuary city. Furthermore, in 2017, the State Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that adherence to the Trump administration’s “ICE detainers” was unlawful. The verdict was, in effect, a declaration of sanctuary status.

Under Trump’s ICE detainer rules, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials could order local law enforcement not to release an illegal immigrant from detention and hold them for transfer to ICE custody so deportation proceedings could begin. In most cases, states would overwhelmingly not honor the ICE detainer requests. Only in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming were all requests adhered to, while more than 16,000 applications in 43 states were ignored.

More than 650,000 illegal immigrants were deported during the Trump administration.

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