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A hundred illegals have made Boston’s Logan International Airport their home

  Dozens of illegal immigrant families  have now made Boston's Logan International Airport their home . Around 100 people, including man...

 Dozens of illegal immigrant families have now made Boston's Logan International Airport their home.

Around 100 people, including many children, have started sleeping on cots at the airport's international terminal – a scene reminiscent of similar situations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Videos shot by local news outlets show dozens of migrants huddled in hats and blankets, lying next to their belongings.

Massachusetts State Police officers have been working overtime to patrol the area. Gov. Maura Healey has even publicly criticized the administration of President Joe Biden for not addressing the root causes of the crisis.

"We need action from Washington, D.C. Congress needs to step up," she said, expressing frustration over the ongoing situation. Healey added that the solutions are clear: Fix the border situation, reform the asylum process and provide funding to states, like Massachusetts, that have been dealing with the issue and "who have had to shoulder the burden for a problem that is geopolitical and is not [of] the states’ making."

Healey is reportedly requesting an additional $250 million from Biden to manage the crisis, although her office estimates the state might need $915 million next year to handle the surge. She has suggested using $700 million from state surplus funds and has already declared a state of emergency.

By August 2023, the number of migrants arriving had increased by 80 percent compared to the previous year – far exceeding the state’s capacity to provide emergency assistance. 

The images from Logan International Airport emerged just months after Massachusetts Ports Authority(MassPort) Interim CEO Ed Freni warned that the airport is not a suitable place for migrants to stay. In November, 20 to 25 migrants were arriving each day, mainly from Haiti and Latin America.

Freni told CBS News at the time that when migrants arrive at Logan, "We meet them and we try to assist them, but we have to emphasize that Logan is not an appropriate place to house people."

The state has reached its limit, with 7,500 families in emergency shelters as of November and now families are being put on wait lists. Some are staying in local churches or government conference rooms.

Hundreds of migrants sleeping at Logan International Airport every night

Since January 2024, Massachusetts Family Welcome Centers have been sending about 100 to 200 people, including many families with young children, to sleep at Boston Logan International Airport's baggage claim area. These families travel by taxi or ride-hailing services to the airport each night, then return to the state’s welcome centers in the morning to wait until they can return to the airport for another night.

Families, including children under a year old, sleep on thin blankets on the hard floor. DaCosta – whose full name is being kept hidden due to his immigration status – has been staying at the airport for 10 nights with his wife and three young children, described the conditions as very cold and uncomfortable.

The welcome centers were created last summer to help with the influx of migrants – providing food, necessities and transportation to shelters. However, the state's family shelter system is now full–leaving hundreds of families without housing. Those without local relatives or friends often head to Logan International Airport, which stays open all night.   

Advocates say the number of homeless families at Logan has increased significantly in recent weeks. They attribute this to Healey's decision in November 2023 to cap the number of families in shelters at 7,500 and implement a wait list. While some overflow sites have been opened, there isn't enough space for all the families in need.

DaCosta's family came to the U.S. just over a month ago, hoping to stay with relatives in Massachusetts. After two weeks, they had to leave due to a complaint from the landlord. They sought help at a local church and hospital before ending up at the state’s Family Welcome Center in Quincy.

Although eligible for state shelter, they were put on the wait list with no indication of when they would get a shelter unit. While they wait, they spend their nights at Logan International Airport, struggling with the noise and lack of privacy.

Healey addressed the issue of families sleeping at the airport, stating that nearly half of the shelter population is newly arrived immigrants. She has called for federal action and funding to help states, like Massachusetts, handle the burden of immigration.

Advocates agree that the state has a moral and legal obligation to provide shelter for homeless families. Massachusetts law requires the state to offer emergency shelter to all eligible families, and this is the first time in 40 years that it has been unable to do so immediately.

A state spokeswoman said the Family Welcome Centers offer families transportation to any identified safe location, but families are told the airport is not a shelter. Despite this, families continue to go to Logan Airport due to a perceived lack of proper alternatives.

Experts are concerned about the well-being of the families and potential security risks at the airport. Healey mentioned that there have been no incidents at Logan International Airport and while the Massachusetts State Police and MassPort have not hired additional staff, they have staff available who speak Haitian Creole and Spanish to assist the families.

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