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Massachusetts to use National Guard armory as shelter for illegal immigrants despite building's ongoing use
Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts to use National Guard armory as shelter for illegal immigrants despite building's ongoing use

Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Maura Healey's office plans to convert a National Guard armory in Lexington into a temporary "safety-net" shelter for illegal immigrants, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

The Lexington Armory is roughly 35,000 square feet and includes an assembly hall, a mess hall with classroom space, a kitchen, showers, and administrative space.

The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities stated that nine Massachusetts National Guardsmen are currently using the building to complete administrative tasks. Despite the facility's planned conversion into a shelter space, the guardsmen will continue to use the building daily.

Emergency Assistance director and retired Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Scott Rice told the news outlet that the armory will provide housing to 55 families. According to the Boston Herald, the site will also be open to homeless American families. The governor has claimed that many individuals utilizing the state's emergency shelter program are Massachusetts residents.

"We have identified a state-owned building in Lexington to use as a safety-net site for families experiencing homelessness. Preparations are underway in close collaboration with local officials, and we expect to open the site next month," Rice told the media outlet.

Many of the illegal immigrants who will move into the facility are currently residing at the Melnea Cass recreation center in Roxbury, one of Boston's poorest neighborhoods. Healey received a wave of backlash earlier this year for her office's decision to convert the space into an overflow shelter for illegal aliens. The community center is scheduled to reopen in May.

The MassGOP released a statement responding to the governor's decision to turn the armory into a shelter space.

"For years, homeless veterans have occupied our streets without access to the necessary options. Democrats didn't take such extreme measures to house homeless individuals until the migrant crisis took over Massachusetts. Now, we're witnessing these transitional housing facilities cropping up across the Commonwealth and veterans still aren't prioritized within the system. Representative Brad Jones made an attempt to address this through a recent amendment, but shockingly, Democrats swiftly shot it down. Clearly, Democratic priorities are not aligned with the values of the residents of the Commonwealth," MassGOP stated.

"It's crucial to emphasize to residents that the individuals slated for housing here and at all of these transitional sights do not fall within the 7,500 families limit imposed on the shelter system. They are categorized as 'in waiting.' The migrant population in the Commonwealth far surpasses the cap, with no end in sight. It's worse and more costly than folks realize," MassGOP added.

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a right-to-shelter law. Many have called for the law to be overhauled amid the ongoing illegal immigration crisis that has overwhelmed the state's emergency shelter system, which has a cap of 7,500 families.

According to the EOHLC, 7,483 families were in the state's shelter system as of Friday, the Boston Herald reported. Another 350 families are residing at "safety-net" sites while they wait for more long-term accommodations.

The influx of illegal immigrants seeking shelter is expected to place a significant financial burden on state taxpayers, totaling nearly $1 billion per year. Massachusetts budget writers reported that the state is currently spending $75 million monthly to support its shelter system, according to the Boston Herald.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →