Updated: Protest held as state plan to send immigrants to live in Yarmouth motel put on hold pending code violations

Video by David Curran/Satellite News Service/CWN
Update: A protest was held Saturday morning over plans to move 100 migrant familes to Yarmouth amidst concerns of the impact on local public safety and school departments. Those plans which involved the Yarmouth Resort were put on hold over code violations at the property.


Previous coverage:
(YARMOUTH) – The State of Massachusetts will be sending dozens of immigrants to Yarmouth in the coming days, according to an email sent from the Yarmouth town administrator to several other Cape Cod municipal leaders.

Yarmouth Town Administrator Robert Whritenour’s email asked the other officials if they had received similar notifications from Governor Maura Healey’s office.

Reports have indicated that the 100 immigrant families, whose legal status is unknown, will be moved into a Yarmouth motel on Route 28 in West Yarmouth.

The text of the email is as follows:

“We received a phone call from the Governor’s office informing us of their plans to move 100 migrant families to Yarmouth next week. It came as quite a surprise. Have any other towns on the Cape received such notifications? Please let me know. Thanks. Bob.”

It’s unclear how the placement of the immigrants would impact public safety agencies in Yarmouth, such as the police and fire departments, or the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, which would be required to educate any children that are moved into the community.

Other Cape Cod officials contacted by Whritenour as to whether they are also expecting immigrants in their community include Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells, Mashpee Town Manager Rodney Collins, Provincetown Town Manager Alex Morse, Eastham Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe, Barnstable County Administrator Beth Albert, Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Kristi Senatori, and several others.

Earlier this month, Gov. Healey said Massachusetts was being inundated with 10 to 30 immigrant families every week, prompting her ask residents to consider opening their homes to them for shelter.

The governor previously said more than 5,600 families were already in the state’s emergency shelter system, creating a crisis that prompted her to declare a state of emergency. As part of that declaration, Healey said federal assistance was needed immediately as the situation was proceeding in an “unsustainable manner,” according to a news release issued by the governor.

Healey’s call for residents to shelter immigrants was echoed by Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

“Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” Driscoll said.

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