City sues hotel for exceeding capacity by housing 450 illegal immigrants in Taunton, Mass.

The funds to pay the Clarion Hotel come from taxpayers in the state of Massachusetts.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

The Republican-run city of Taunton, Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against its only hotel for striking a $10 million taxpayer-funded deal to house illegal immigrants in return for shutting down the property to the public.

Taunton is seeking $155,000 from the Clarion Hotel alleging that the property is housing more illegal immigrants than it can hold, per the Daily Mail.

The Clarion Hotel recently struck a nine-year deal with the Democrat-run state to become an emergency shelter for illegal immigrants. It will reportedly house 450 illegal immigrants inside its 155-room hotel.

According to residents in the city of Taunton, which is home to 60,000 people, the agreement will cause the city to lose business because the closest hotel is in Raynham, the next city over.

Republican Mayor Shauna O'Connell told NBC News that the city has limited resources and residents have complained about a lack of hotels, illegal immigrants packing its schools and loitering in the streets.

The mayor explained that the city was first told to house 18 illegal immigrant families at the Clarion Hotel but that number grew quickly.

"Shortly thereafter, the entire hotel was occupied by more than a hundred families and ceased operating as a hotel," said O'Connell.

"Within a couple of months, the hotel had converted entirely to an emergency shelter and housed approximately 445 people at any given time," she explained.

Max capacity for the Clarion Hotel is 360 people and the city has started issuing fines for housing more than it can safely hold. The property has already accumulated $114,600 in fines between May and September 2023, according to WVCB.

The city said in a statement: "While we are not unsympathetic to migrants fleeing unstable conditions in other countries, we have limited resources available."

Adding that Taunton has "many residents in need, including seniors and veterans, who require services and housing."

Additionally, there has been an increase in 911 calls at the hotel since the illegal immigrants arrived. This includes daily calls for domestic disturbances, overdoses, and mental health episodes, according to a report from The Fall River Reporter.

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