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Wealthy Boston residents rail against migrant shelter that will soon open up in their neighborhood: 'Forced down our throats'
Composite screenshot of CBS Boston YouTube video

Wealthy Boston residents rail against migrant shelter that will soon open up in their neighborhood: 'Forced down our throats'

Residents of a wealthy neighborhood in Boston expressed outrage at a recent community meeting after they learned that a new migrant shelter would soon open up nearby.

On Tuesday night, residents gathered to meet with General Scott Rice, the emergency assistance director for Democratic Gov. Maura Healey, to discuss their concerns about a temporary migrant shelter opening up in Fort Point, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the Seaport area of Boston.

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay is working with Healey's office to transform some Fort Point office space on Farnsworth Street, owned by the Unitarian Universalist Association, into a temporary shelter for approximately 80 immigrants.

But it seems nobody asked the locals whether they approved.

"I think there's a lot of angry residents who feel the same way I do that this was being forced on us," said resident Brian Curley.

Thomas Ready of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association expressed similar sentiments. "We will quickly pivot if in fact this is getting forced down our throats," Ready said. "...You have to give us a little bit of time to digest this because right now it doesn’t taste so good."

During the meeting, area residents shared many concerns about the shelter, including the risk it poses to their safety. "How are you going to ensure we're safe?" one woman asked at the meeting.

Rice replied that the state has already vetted the immigrants. "Our track record has been very good," he said.

Others noted that the office space has six bathrooms but no shower facilities, so immigrants will likely have to be bussed to and from the area YMCA every day so they can bathe. "This is ridiculous. This is a terrible location," one resident remarked.

Still others were frustrated that they seem to have been boxed out of the process. One man decried the lack of "compassion" from local and state leaders. An exasperated woman even wondered, "Why isn’t the governor here? How about we bus them to her house?"

Despite all their comments and concerns, Rice said that the new shelter "is going to happen." He then invited the Fort Point residents to help "make this work and work well" for everyone.

He didn't get much cooperation. "That sounds like complete bulls***," one person remarked.

Paul Craney of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance told Blaze News that the shelter is likely to harm both neighborhood residents and immigrants. "There is nothing compassionate about housing migrants in facilities that are not equipped for human occupancy, even if it has an expensive zip code," he said. "Ultimately, the migrants will suffer, but so will the taxpayers who will have to pay for this never ending inadequate response by the Healey administration."

The shelter is expected to open within the next week or two and remain open for 90 days. After 90 days, officials will have the ability "to renew for another 90 days," a spokesperson for Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu said. No firm deadline for closing the shelter has been given.

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