Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

  • Pearl Boyle
  • July 10, 2024 06:04am
  • 120

Dozens of migrants sleeping at Boston's Logan International Airport have been given until the end of the day to vacate the premises as a new state rule prohibiting the practice takes effect.

Amidst the bustling activity of Boston's Logan International Airport, dozens of migrants who have made the airport their temporary home face an uncertain future today as a state rule banning sleeping on the airport's floors takes effect.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey announced last month that migrants had until July 9 to leave the airport, offering them free accommodation at a former minimum-security dormitory in Norfolk. As the deadline approaches, the migrants face the prospect of losing their makeshift shelter.

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

Days before the announcement, nearly 300 migrants were using Terminal E at the airport as a shelter, spreading out makeshift beds and air mattresses on the floors of Boston's main air hub. However, that number has dwindled to 56 by Monday, according to local news outlet WCVB.

Governor Healey has stated that the state can no longer provide housing for migrants at the airport, emphasizing that those considering coming to Massachusetts will not be able to stay at Logan Airport.

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

In response to the situation, the state has refurbished the Massachusetts Bay State Correctional Center, a former minimum-security dorm-like facility, which can accommodate up to 140 migrants and homeless families. The facility is currently housing 105 people, many of whom were previously staying at Logan Airport.

Migrants currently at Logan are being offered accommodation at Bay State, while others are being transported to new "safety-net" sites, according to a statement from the Healey administration.

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

The Norfolk site provides migrants with showers and bathrooms, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a common room, and offices for case management and administrative activities. There are also play areas for children and classroom spaces for adults to learn English and receive job training.

The facility is staffed 24/7 and provides transportation on and off site. However, the cost to taxpayers for this entire operation remains unclear, and the Healey administration has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

Migrants Ordered to Leave Boston's Logan Airport as State Deadline Expires

The administration has stated that it has been increasing its efforts to provide migrants with housing assistance, work authorization applications, job placements, and English classes.

Massachusetts has been struggling with an influx of migrants seeking shelter, leading to a declaration of a state of emergency over the surge in migrant arrivals last summer. The state has said it is obliged to cater to the migrants due to a 1983 state law, although critics argue it does not apply to non-US citizen migrants.

While some residents have expressed concerns about the influx of migrants, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has welcomed the governor's decision, calling on the federal government to provide more support.

As the deadline passes, the migrants at Logan Airport face a mix of uncertainty and apprehension, as they prepare to leave their makeshift shelter and navigate the complexities of finding alternative accommodation.

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