Boston says it’s overrun by illegal immigrants, plans to place them in veterans housing

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

The Veterans Home at Chelsea will become a “safety-net site” for migrants where, beginning May 1, they will have to prove they are working to wean off government assistance by applying for work authorizations, learning English and searching for permanent residency. 

“We have said for months now that our system is at capacity, and we do not have the space, providers or funding to continue expanding,” Emergency Assistance Director Scott Rice said in a statement this week.

“This new certification policy is a responsible step to address the capacity constraints at our safety-net sites. Families will need to demonstrate that they’ve taken action to get on a path toward independence and out of shelter.” 

MASSACHUSETTS CLOSES COMMUNITY CENTER TO PUBLIC TO SHELTER MIGRANTS, PROMPTING BACKLASH

Migrants at the front of the line 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 children or homeless pregnant women, has been overwhelmed for months.

According to the state’s website, the veterans home “offers residential and long-term care programs to eligible Massachusetts veterans.” Healey’s office said the site is vacant and slated to be demolished since the state reopened a larger center atop Powder Horn Hill in December.

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

TRENDY BOSTON WATERFRONT DISTRICT COULD GET NEW MIGRANT SHELTER AS ROXBURY MAXES OUT: REPORTS

Beds for migrants at Massachusetts shelter

A worker walks through the over 300 Army cots on the gym floor as state and local officials tour the Melnea A. Cass Recreational Complex, which will be housing over 300 migrants.  (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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Jon Santiago, secretary of veterans services for Massachusetts, said, “This project operates independently and will not impact the daily routines or services at the Massachusetts Veterans Home at Chelsea.” 

There are 240 families living in the safety-net sites, while 7,500 families reside in the state’s 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 of 400 people in just one week last month. 

New York City, Chicago and the state of New York 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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