Politics & Media
Feb 06, 2024, 06:27AM

Let Rich, White Liberals Show How Much They Like Migrants

The overflow in Massachusetts gets worse.

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Massachusetts has a migrant problem, and it won’t disappear soon. As the Southern border faces an influx of people the federal government fails to handle, the Bay State also suffers negative consequences—not that we can expect either government to do anything about it.

Some may argue the federal government merely has incompetent policies that led to this groundswell of people, but I think it’s something more sinister. A Democratic president and his administration want to import more people from all over the world who will one day vote Democratic in elections. Non-citizens have children who will one day vote, plus members of both parties support pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants—a boon for Democrats.

The policies of Massachusetts make the situation worse. It’s the only state with a right-to-shelter law guaranteeing emergency housing for families and pregnant women. I like the premise, but the 1983 law lacks a residency requirement—meaning that people can come here and get free housing. The problems with this law continue piling up, and we know the reason for it because neighboring blue states, like Vermont and Rhode Island, lack the same issues. The Massachusetts shelter system hit its 7500 family cap in November 2023, creating a waiting list for emergency shelter housing as people from around the world, primarily Haiti, come here.

The state is putting people in motels on the taxpayers' dime. Some motels have raised rates in response or demanded their low-income residents pay by the week to compete with the state, driving Bay Staters to homelessness. The state also appropriated an extra $250 million for its emergency shelter this fiscal year to deal with the issue, contributing to its financial problems. As spending increases and revenue decreases, Gov. Maura Healey enacted $375 million in emergency budget cuts last month, which included slashing funding to over 30 fire departments across the state, among other cuts to essential services.

The Healey administration has asked residents to consider housing migrants in their private homes. Migrants now sleep on the floor at Logan Airport in Boston nightly, and it recently converted a sports complex in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston into migrant housing. The administration used a diverse, low-income neighborhood rather than a white limousine liberal suburb. Let's use the Newton North and Newton South, Wellesley, Needham, Hingham, and Duxbury High School gymnasiums instead. Let rich, white liberals show how much they care for the migrants.

The migrants are a winning issue for Republicans, not that the GOP seems likely to beat any incumbent Democrats this year. It won a state senate race last year where the candidate, an incumbent state representative, hammered this issue in one of the most competitive districts in Massachusetts. A Commonwealth Beacon poll in October found that 40 percent of Bay Staters want a residency requirement on the right-to-shelter law, while 55 percent oppose it. Those are good numbers for the GOP when you consider that it's a liberal pollster and the respondents include people from blue areas and demographics less likely to show up and vote. If you run on this issue in districts where the GOP typically cracks at least 40 percent of the vote, odds are, most people agree that free migrant housing is a problem. If Cambridge disagrees, who cares?

Anyone who pays attention to Massachusetts politics knows the state legislature and governor's office can fix this issue, but they won’t. An amendment to create a residency requirement on the state's right-to-shelter law failed overwhelmingly in the Massachusetts Senate, with every Democrat opposing it. Almost every Democrat opposed it because they’re puppets for vindictive leaders on Beacon Hill, who punish rank-and-file members of their parties if they step out of line. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey once had his desk moved into the hallway at the State House for standing up to leaders on Beacon Hill in the 1970s. That toxic culture remains unchanged 50 years later.

It’s the same state where revenge porn remains legal, and where the governor's office, state legislature, and judicial system claim exemptions to public records law, and the legislature refuses to make committee votes public. Massachusetts is a state where bills have one of the lowest pass rates despite having a full-time state legislature. What are people going to do? Vote Republican?

None of this fixes our broken immigration system and porous borders, and the migrants, many of whom want a better life, become political pawns for both parties. I want a merit-based immigration system with a public charge rule that emphasizes assimilation and the labor rights of immigrants so they can support themselves and aren't in a race to the bottom with poor Americans for abysmal wages. I also want the country to disincentivize illegal immigration. Politicians don’t agree.


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