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National Guard begins deploying to Massachusetts shelters as more migrant families arrive

Framingham mayor "extremely appreciative" of Mass. National Guard help with migrants
Framingham mayor "extremely appreciative" of Mass. National Guard help with migrants 02:00

BOSTON - The Massachusetts National Guard began deploying to emergency shelters across the state on Wednesday as local leaders grapple with a rise in the number of migrant families.

Up to 250 Guard members will help deliver food to hotels and get families things they need like diapers, formula and cribs. They will also help enroll kids in local schools, help families access medical care and coordinate rides to appointments.

"Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and we're grateful to the National Guard for stepping up to help us ensure that families in need have access to basic services like food, transportation, medical care, and education," Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement.

Last month, Healey declared a state of emergency over the influx of migrant families coming to Massachusetts.

There are more than 6,000 families, including children and pregnant women, staying in emergency shelters in the state. Most are from Haiti, escaping the aftermath of the 2010 earthquakes.

"Right now, the nonprofits that are in Massachusetts are stretched and so they cannot provide anymore staff," State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, told WBZ-TV recently. "It's not only children, and with it getting soon cold, they're going to need winter jackets, things like that, school supplies. But also many of the women here are pregnant."

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