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Massachusetts bans migrants from sleeping at Boston airport

A "Welcome to Boston" sign hangs on the facade of a structure as two workers assemble a portion of a roof at Terminal E, where most international flights arrive and depart, at Logan Airport in Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The Associated Press/Photo by Charles Krupa, File

Massachusetts bans migrants from sleeping at Boston airport

Migrants who established temporary living spaces in Boston Logan International Airport must relocate, according to Massachusetts state policy. Tuesday, July 9, marked the deadline for individuals and families to leave.

What alternatives is Massachusetts offering the migrants? Gov. Maura Healey issued a press release late last month outlining the next steps for the state and migrants. Migrants who were already on the Massachusetts Emergency Assistance shelter waiting list as of June 28 were eligible for transfers to a newly opened state shelter system. Additional migrants will be admitted into the system as space allows. Healey announced length-of-stay limits for shelters and safety-net locations earlier this year.

What is Massachusetts’ recent policy toward migrants? Boston operates as a sanctuary city, signifying that it welcomes migrants who enter the United States illegally. In 2023, Healey declared an official state of emergency due to the influx of migrants coming to the state, citing the large numbers of children and pregnant women. Healey said in her declaration letter that the more than $45 million per month the state was spending to help those in need of shelter could not solve the problem. 

Last month, Healey sent officials to the southern border to stress that Massachusetts had no more room in its shelters, a message it continues to distribute through Spanish, English, and Haitian-Creole flyers.

Dig deeper: Read Grace Snell’s report for WORLD Magazine on how New York ministries are struggling to help migrants released into the country with little hope of staying.

Catherine Gripp

Catherine Gripp is a graduate of World Journalism Institute.

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