As the immigration crisis continues to unfold in the United States, airports across the nation are witnessing a surge in the number of migrant men, women, and children seeking refuge within their terminals. Boston’s Logan International Airport, in particular, has become a focal point, with around 100 migrants setting up temporary camp within its confines. This dire situation has arisen as Massachusetts’ shelter system reached its breaking point back in November, leaving state officials and compassionate local volunteers struggling to provide much-needed assistance. Despite these challenges, Governor Maura Healey has called upon the federal government to take more substantial action to alleviate the crisis and ensure the welfare of these vulnerable individuals.

Disturbing footage, obtained by CBS News, paints a stark picture of the dire conditions faced by migrants at Logan Airport. Rows of people, including women and children, lay on the airport floor, their weary faces reflecting the exhaustion and uncertainty of their situation. Keturah Douze, a compassionate individual, has been collecting hygiene products to help these stranded migrants, acknowledging the difficulties they face: “While they’re at the airport, they don’t have access to a shower, so there’s like some shower wipes, little towels, just to clean up while they wait.”

The crisis at Logan Airport is not an isolated incident. Similar scenes have unfolded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where, as of January 4, 216 migrants were sleeping in the terminal, according to WGN 9. This situation underscores the broader issue of overcrowded and underfunded shelter systems across the United States.

Massachusetts’ shelter system reached its breaking point in November, with an overwhelming 7,500 families seeking refuge within the state. The surge in demand has left officials with limited options, leading some to house migrants in hospital waiting rooms and church halls. The dire need for additional resources and support is evident, as local communities and volunteers struggle to provide assistance.

Governor Maura Healey, a Democrat, has been at the forefront of efforts to address this crisis. On Monday, she made a passionate plea to the federal government, emphasizing the need for immediate action. She emphasized, “We need D.C. to act. We need Congress to act.” Governor Healey recognized that the solution requires a multi-faceted approach, addressing border issues, asylum processes, and allocating much-needed funding to the states grappling with the consequences of this geopolitical problem that extends far beyond their control.

To address the immediate crisis, Healey requested an additional $250 million in funds for the current year. Her office estimated that addressing the crisis could cost Massachusetts a staggering $915 million in the following year. Despite the financial burden, Healey commended the efforts of airport staff and state police who have been instrumental in assisting the migrants during their stay at Logan Airport.

In November, Massport’s interim CEO, Ed Freni, expressed his concerns, stating that the airport is “not an appropriate place” for migrants to stay. With 20-25 migrants arriving daily, some were forced to sleep at the facility due to the lack of suitable accommodations. The airport has been working with partners to transport migrants to welcome centers while exploring alternative solutions to address this growing issue.

While Governor Healey pleads for federal assistance, the immigration crisis has become a political tug-of-war. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending busloads of migrants from his state northward to put pressure on Democrat mayors and governors, including President Biden. This policy has notably affected New York City, with Mayor Eric Adams demanding more federal action. The majority of migrants sent north have found their way to cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York, while Boston remains a challenging situation without direct busloads from Texas.

Back in August, Governor Healey declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts, citing an 80 percent increase in immigrant arrivals compared to the previous year. She noted, “It’s exponentially more than our state has ever served in our emergency assistance program.” These arrivals represent individuals who have endured harrowing journeys to reach the United States, seeking safety and a better future for themselves and their families.

The crisis at Boston’s Logan Airport serves as a poignant reminder of the broader immigration challenges facing the United States. With shelters at capacity, Governor Maura Healey and local volunteers are doing their best to provide assistance, but the situation requires urgent federal intervention. While political debates continue, the immediate focus should be on addressing the needs of these vulnerable migrants, ensuring their safety, and finding a more sustainable solution to this ongoing crisis.