Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center calls for state help after ending policy to help migrants

For months, Boston Medical Center had worked with Massachusetts to accommodate migrants, but an increase that left people sleeping in the lobby and triage center caused the hospital to change its policy

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With the influx of migrants increasing, some employees at The Boston Medical Center are calling on Massachusetts to issue a state of emergency.

The BMC has been working with the state to accommodate migrants for months. Now, with as many as 100 migrants inside each day, the hospital has changed its policy, saying it would focus its attention on migrants who need medical attention and redirecting other families to nearby shelters.

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"Part of the concern with the state not being part of this conversation is that there are people showing up in the middle of the night, and there is nowhere for them to go," said Emily Swisher-Rosa, a midwife at Boston Medical Center.

Swisher-Rosa says the hospital is seeing an increase in pregnant women and children. They show up to the emergency department, and at times, space is so limited that migrants sleep in the lobby and the triage center.

She offered a possible solution to address the number of migrants coming in throughout the night.

"We need someplace where people can arrive at any hour of the day and they can have some temporary shelter," Swisher-Rosa said.

Other migrants who have been sent away from the hospital are staying in nearby shelters. Jean St. Paul travelled through 11 countries to get here from Haiti, and says the conditions inside these shelters aren't great.

"A lot of the people in the shelter have mental problems, and people that are addicted to drugs," St. Paul said. "It's hard to sleep because of all the noise."

At least two families in the past few days have also been sent ack to Logan Airport, NBC10 Boston has learned.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is calling on the state to help.

"We need action at all levels," Wu said. "We are working with the state every day, city staff working to identify hotel rooms, more spaces, and serve the level of need that is here."

The office of Gov. Maura Healey says it is working with city and state agencies to expand shelters and address intake capacity in order to create a long term solution.

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