Massachusetts Governor Calls In National Guard Amid ‘Blue State’ Freakout Over Migrants

Maura Healey (Getty Images)
September 1, 2023

Massachusetts governor Maura Healey (D.) mobilized her state’s national guard on Thursday in response to an influx of migrants.

Up to 250 members of the Massachusetts National Guard will assist at local shelters and hotels, where thousands of migrant families have been housed. Healey earlier this month declared a state of emergency because of the strain on the shelter system.

Healey joined a growing number of Democratic leaders—including in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.,—who have embraced more aggressive approaches to immigration as their jurisdictions have struggled to accommodate record numbers of migrants entering the country during Joe Biden’s presidency.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (D.), who previously pledged that his state would be a "sanctuary" for migrants, suggested on Thursday he was not open to taking in migrants from neighboring New York.

"You need scale, [an] enormous amount of federal support, resources that go beyond anything that we can afford," Murphy said of accommodating the migrants. "Putting everything else aside, I just don’t see it."

Prominent business and community leaders in New York City earlier this week penned a letter to the Biden administration demanding stepped-up federal action to control the border and offset the costs of the migrant crisis. Meanwhile, attempts to move migrants to different neighborhoods of New York City have been met with protests by residents.

Illegal border crossings by migrant families reached an all-time high in August, the Washington Post reported on Thursday based on preliminary data. CBS News reported on Thursday that fewer than 100 deportations have been carried out under a program the Biden administration set up in May to deter unlawful entries by migrant families.

In activating the Massachusetts National Guard, Healey attributed her state's migrant woes to "a confusing tangle of immigration laws, an inability for migrants to obtain work authorization from the federal government, an increase in the number of people coming to Massachusetts, and the lack of an affordable housing supply in our state."