Posted on September 13, 2023

Massachusetts Mayor Sounds Alarm on Migrant Crisis

David Zimmermann, National Review, September 11, 2023


The Democratic mayor of a small Massachusetts city is urging state lawmakers to reform a 40-year-old “right-to-shelter” law that is putting immense strain on the area as thousands of migrant families arrive.

Woburn mayor Scott Galvin said by Friday there were about 150 families living in the city’s hotels, an arrangement he called unsustainable for his 40,000 constituents.

Under the 1983 right-to-shelter law, Massachusetts officials are legally required to offer housing to any homeless families seeking shelter in the state. The law now covers a rising influx of migrant families, although individuals are not covered under its provisions.

Galvin told the New York Times the law was “passed at a different time, and was not meant to cover what we’re seeing now.”

“We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools,” he said. “The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination, and without some changes, this challenge is not going to abate.”

Massachusetts is the only state that has a right-to-shelter law.

Apart from Woburn, over 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts are welcoming migrants {snip}