Stop Asian Hate

Massachusetts braces for migrant crisis

By Gilda Balan, Correspondent

BOSTON — The state of Massachusetts is expecting an influx of migrants to pose a threat to its limited resources and wants nothing more to avoid hate crimes against the newcomers, who may not be able to find decent shelter.

There is little available shelter for more migrants as the state’s budget for emergency housing has been stretched to the limit.

“Boston communities are split between compassion and concern,” writes Aditya Venkatram in the New England-based AsianAmerican newspaper Sampan.

Venkatram’s piece, Migrant Crisis Update, says the new wave of migrants will be coming from Central and South America. Wherever the newcomers are coming from, whether Asia, Africa, or South America, they will invariably place a strain on state budgets.

What Massachusetts faces is not expected to be any different from what California and New York, among others, are already facing.

State budgets, writes Venkatram, “are not large enough to continue providing essential services such as health care, education, and legal aid to arriving migrants.”

For this year alone, Governor Maura Healey estimated that emergency housing will cost Massachusetts close to $1 billion.

The common factors that cause people to leave their home countries and seek sanctuary in the US are political instability, rising tensions, and economic turmoil.

Families are therefore forced to travel to the US “to find safety, opportunity, and a better life for their children,” says the Migrant Crisis Update.

Despite its own struggles, the US is still seen as “a beacon of hope for residents of struggling nations.”

The perception that the US provides stability, easier access to health care and education, and higher earning potential “draw migrants from countries where these benefits are no longer available.”

One danger that new migrants will be unprepared for is the possibility of being victims of hate crimes. This may come in several forms, from verbal abuse to hate rallies to physical injury, especially to the most vulnerable migrants – the elderly.

Integration becomes even harder when the migrants land in states that do not have the fiscal capacity to assist them.

For now, Massachusetts must strike the perfect balance between welcoming migrants without depriving its own residents of the political and job stability that they deserve as taxpayers.

Direct assistance from the federal government is seen to alleviate some of the burden that states with growing migrant communities now face.

More importantly, says the Update, “it will be impossible to move forward in solving the crisis” without engaging the community.

(This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American )
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