Bay State Sinking Under Costly Weight of Mass Migration
On his way out of office, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is asking for $139 million to “expand emergency shelter capacity” for newly arrived border crossers and illegal aliens.
Baker’s request is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of dollars Massachusetts spends annually to accommodate illegal aliens, but it’s yet another example of avoidable costs that the Biden administration’s reckless immigration policies inflict on states.
FAIR estimates that Massachusetts was home to an estimated 393,000 illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children in 2021. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently listed Massachusetts among 13 states that received as many as 10,000 migrant families between March 2021 and February 2022.
Baker, who opted not to run for a third term, said the Bay State’s growing migrant problems are “driven by the federal government’s inability to address our country’s immigration challenges.” The $783 average cost borne by each Massachusetts household to accommodate illegal aliens in 2017 has ballooned amid the unprecedented surge of migrants during this administration.
The governor’s $139 million request for additional shelters won’t touch the added state obligations for public education, health care and other social services.
Illustrating its increasingly steep cost curve, Massachusetts is currently spending some $2 billion to serve 98,000 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students – a disproportionate percentage of whom are the children of illegal aliens. It is an outlay roughly equal to the total expenditures for illegal-alien services five years ago.
Appropriations for all such programs are baked into the state’s budget cake, which rises commensurately with the accelerating influx of needy migrant families. And it’s not just Massachusetts. These broad fiscal impacts are being felt from coast to coast, prompting U.S. political leaders to assert, correctly, that “every state is a border state” under Joe Biden’s mass immigration agenda.
Alas, Massachusetts didn’t do itself any favors in local elections this month. Barnstable County voted in a sheriff who pledged to end a detention contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while bizarrely asserting that the sheriff’s role is not one of law enforcement.
In Bristol County, voters ousted longtime Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, an unstinting proponent of detaining criminal aliens and cooperating with ICE.
These election results – applauded at the White House, no doubt — will merely add to the expense and stress in Massachusetts … with or without Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flying a handful of migrants up to Martha’s Vineyard.