Boston residents rage after governor closes community center to house migrants

Massachusetts residents are none too happy about Democratic Gov. Maura Healey’s decision to temporarily close a Boston neighborhood’s community recreation center to shelter migrants.

“They don’t care about us. They only care about their agenda and their political careers at our expense.” Shawn Nelson, a former city council candidate, said Thursday on “Fox & Friends First.”

The Melnea Cass Recreation Center in Roxbury reportedly offered a skating rink and places to exercise, providing a safe space for the community’s youth to fraternize. Without it, parents are concerned young people may find themselves in trouble instead.

MASSACHUSETTS CLOSES COMMUNITY CENTER TO PUBLIC TO SHELTER MIGRANTS, PROMPTING BACKLASH

closed sign on door of roxbury community center

Melnea Cass Recreation Center in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Mass., has been temporarily closed to shelter migrants. (Screengrab/”Fox & Friends”)

Healey’s office said Wednesday that the decision was “just born out of necessity” as the migrant crisis continues to overwhelm other state facilities, including Logan Airport, according to WHDH in Boston.

“We just have to do what we have to do at this time,” she added.

Nelson, outraged by the ongoing crisis, captured footage of himself confronting Healey in Boston on Wednesday, asking her why she believes taking resources from Massachusetts citizens is acceptable while urging for migrant deportations to take place.

“You serve us, not these illegals,” he said.

Healey replied with, “We need a housing bill passed.” Nelson called the response a “lame excuse.”

ILLEGAL MIGRANTS ARE SLEEPING IN TERMINALS OF BOSTON AIRPORT ON ‘DAILY BASIS’ AS CRISIS OVERWHELMS SHELTERS

Co-host Todd Piro asked Nelson why he thinks Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Healey are reluctant to tell President Biden to close the border to curtail the ongoing crisis.

“I know exactly why,” he replied. “They are in contact with Joe Biden’s White House, and they’re going along with his agenda by basically replacing residents as their new voters in a cheap workforce labor…. Boston is full.”

Catherine Vitale, a lifelong community resident, agreed, arguing the influx of migrants isn’t fair to the people already living in the area.

“They’re putting a huge burden on the residents of Roxbury. Even less than a quarter mile down the road, there’s an open-air drug market. These people are already struggling in this neighborhood, and now they’re having one of their assets taken away from them,” she said.

BOSTON RESIDENT CALLS ON DEM OFFICIALS TO BE ‘REALISTIC’ AS MIGRANTS  SLEEP ON FLOORS OF LOGAN AIRPORT

Melnea Cass Recreation Center

The Melnea Cass Recreation Center has been closed since Sunday as it undergoes renovations to be converted to a migration shelter. (Melnea Cass Recreation Center/Facebook)

“Fox & Friends” co-host Lawrence Jones paid a visit to the facility Thursday morning to hear from locals and City Councilor At-Large Erin Murphy, a Democrat who says her office has been inundated with calls from outraged residents.

“I think a lot of cities across this country, once they declare themselves a sanctuary city, I’m not sure if they knew the amount of support we were going to need to give,” she said.

“Looking back, if our communities end up losing the services they need to live full lives, I think we may be questioning that [status]. We do have to find a balance to make sure that those migrant families have a safe place to go, but at the same time… I’m an elected official here. I represent the whole city… I’ve centered my advocacy and policy on making sure that every resident has the resources they need, and I’m hearing that seniors and kids… might be disrupted, so I’m making sure that the city is stepping up and connecting with all the departments for these displaced residents who use this [facility] every day.”

Maura Healey

Mass. Gov. Maura Healey speaks at the Leadership Meeting held at the State House. Shawn Nelson captured himself on video confronting Healey on Wednesday. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Jones also spoke to a mom of four outraged by the community center’s temporary closure.

“They want to turn our children into animals. They want our children to be bad and f up. We want better for our community,” said Keisha Effee, who fears Roxbury’s youth will turn to the streets instead.

She also warned the crisis will “destroy” the community if nothing changes.

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“It’s great that they want to help the immigrants, but what about the Americans that are already here? What about the people that are already here, that don’t have homes, that don’t have jobs, that are sleeping on the street already? These people came from the airport here, probably on boats, probably on buses… now they’re getting stipends,” she continued.

“I need money for me and my kids, and I was born here. I know life is a struggle in itself, but this is not the answer to help them now. It’s going to destroy our community more and mess our children up more. This is sad.”

The state intends to stop housing migrants at the facility in May, and to reopen it to the public and resume its normal functions by June.

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

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