April 19, 2024

About 20 to 25 migrants are arriving daily at Boston’s Logan Airport, the head of the airport operator said Friday, with some seen camping out temporarily in baggage claim and elsewhere before trying to find a spot in the state’s overburdened shelter system.

But Massport interim CEO Ed Freni told reporters that the airport is “not an appropriate place” for migrants to stay, even as some were seen sleeping at the facility as the state grapples with the shelter crisis.

“When they come to Logan we meet them and we try to assist them, but we have to emphasize that Logan is not an appropriate place to house people,” Freni told reporters. The airport works with partners to transport the migrants to welcome centers and is looking to “other solutions in the future,” Freni said.

$24.5B NEEDED FOR BOSTON TRANSIT REPAIRS, MBTA SAYS

This week, Massachusetts lawmakers did not approve $250 million in emergency aid for the shelter system.

Haitian immigrants Petterly Jean-Baptiste and Leonne Ysnardin

Haitian immigrants Petterly Jean-Baptiste, left, and wife Leonne Ysnardin ride in a van en route to a shelter in Quincy, Massachusetts, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Massachusetts’ emergency shelter system hit a state-imposed limit of 7,500 families last week, and migrant advocates are relying on a patchwork of temporary shelters, including churches, hospital waiting rooms and even airport lounges. Because the shelter system is full, some homeless people have had to be put on a waiting list.

A new work authorization clinic is serving several hundred shelter residents per day. The clinic at Camp Curtis Guild, a Massachusetts National Guard training site in Reading, helps migrants obtain work authorization in the hopes of easing the strain on shelters.

State lawmakers who failed to approve a supplemental budget embarked for the Thanksgiving break with no plans to formally convene again for votes until the new year.

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Lawmakers could approve additional spending in informal sessions before year’s end, but legislative rules make it easier to derail bills during informal sessions.

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