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Poll: Majority of Massachusetts voters oppose using public funds to house migrants

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(The Center Square) – Massachusetts voters don’t like the idea of state officials using public funds to house migrants, according to a new poll.

Over 50% of nearly eight hundred voters surveyed oppose using tax dollars to support newly arrived migrants, according to a recent poll conducted by the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.

Over 65% of respondents don’t believe Massachusetts can accommodate more migrants arriving in the commonwealth.

Massachusetts is the only state with a “right to shelter” law, which requires temporary housing for desperate families; however, the law does not apply to individuals.

The poll comes as state lawmakers are dealing with a growing immigration crisis and debating potential solutions. Gov. Maura Healey is considering funding a new program to assist roughly 400 migrants for one year. The program would fund various agencies, such as the International Institute of New England, which supports migrants.

The move would require $8 million from the state’s supplemental budget. Healey recently requested an additional $250 million in funds to deal with the crisis, which her administration estimates could ultimately cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion next year.

The governor is also working to allow the new migrants to work. “Almost all of the new arrivals here in the state, they all want to work,” Healey’s office told NBC10. “We’ve been able to process them for work authorizations and now we’re in the process of getting them plugged in with employers throughout the state.”

Some officials are even discussing changing the “right to shelter” law in response to a growing emergency shelter waitlist, which reached over 700 as of Feb. 12.

“You know, no one certainly, no one predicted the immigration crisis that we have in America,” said Sen. John Velis, D-Hampden, according to Spectrum News.

“Times have changed, and now we don’t have the federal government’s help. So I don’t think it’s a question of keeping or repealing ‘Right to Shelter,’ but I think it’s absolutely a question of modifying ‘Right to Shelter’ to account for the new reality that’s out there.”

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