Massachusetts preparing for influx of evacuees from Puerto Rico

Support planned for evacuees coming here for temporary or permanent residence

BOSTON (WWLP) – Local lawmakers are preparing for Puerto Rico evacuees coming to Massachusetts, including helping them find places to stay.

The state is sending law enforcement officers to Puerto Rico and collecting funds to help respond to the devastation from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Money from the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund will be distributed for reconstruction and relief, and to support evacuees coming here for temporary or permanent residence.

The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus is also working with the Baker-Polito Administration to make sure the state is prepared for the influx of migrants.

The state has formed a task force to help support people arriving from the island.

“With the understanding that Puerto Ricans will come to Massachusetts,” State Rep. Carlos Gonzales explained. “I think we are getting prepared to deal with the influx of folks in our education system, in our health care system as well as in housing issues that are going to come up.”

Rep. Gonzalez also told 22News that Puerto Ricans are already fleeing to western Massachusetts and he expects more will follow.