By Samantha Flom
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has appealed to the Biden administration for assistance in supporting the influx of illegal immigrants seeking refuge in his state.
In an Oct. 31 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Baker asked for “urgent federal government assistance” on the matter, noting that Massachusetts has seen a significant increase in the number of families and individuals seeking shelter there over the past year.
“Massachusetts is proud to welcome individuals and families seeking asylum and refuge and is dedicated to helping families live with dignity, but additional federal support is required,” he wrote. “Additional federal efforts would make obtaining employment opportunities and benefits easier for these individuals and help them build their lives and relieve the strain on the public services.”
In the fiscal year 2022, according to Baker, resettlement agencies based in the Bay State served 4,344 individuals, including over 2,000 Afghan humanitarian parolees, 822 Cuban and Haitian entrants, and 548 refugees.
Further, more than 400 individuals were reported by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to have entered shelter since July.
According to the Boston Herald, Baker recently received backlash for relocating illegal immigrants arriving in Massachusetts to hotels in Plymouth and Kingston due to the state’s overwhelmed shelter system.
Among his Monday requests, the governor asked for: the expedition and streamlining of the provision of work permits to eligible asylum seekers, a reevaluation of the services currently provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and an expansion of the populations considered eligible for federal assistance.
“As long as the situation at the southern border remains unchanged, Massachusetts and many other states will struggle to cope with this substantial increase in immigrant families accessing shelter and other services,” Baker noted. “I respectfully call on the federal government to do its part in providing urgent assistance.”
While the Republican governor may be the latest leader to express discontent with the surge of illegal immigrants in his area, he is not the first.
On Oct. 7, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency over the influx of illegal immigrants there, stating: “This crisis is not of our own making but one that will affect everyone in this city, now and in the months ahead. New Yorkers deserve to know why this is happening and what we plan to do.”
While Adams did not attribute the problem to the policies of the Biden administration, he did call out Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for busing illegal immigrants from the border to his city.
“Texas has not provided notice to New York City, and has indicated that it will continue not providing notice to New York City, regarding how many busloads of people will be arriving, or the dates and times of their arrival,” Adams noted in his emergency order.
Abbott—like fellow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who flew two planes full of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in September—has vowed to continue sending illegal immigrants to cities that have previously espoused “sanctuary city” policies.
Further, blaming the Biden administration’s policies for the surge, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned Mayorkas last month that he could face impeachment proceedings if action was not taken soon to secure the border.
An impeachment conviction would require a two-thirds vote in favor in the Senate and a simple majority in the House. But, with the Republican Party aiming to take control of both the House and the Senate in the upcoming midterms, an impeachment trial may be on the horizon.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services for comment.