Massachusetts GOP leader says right to shelter law should be revisited after arrest of migrant accused of rape

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The leader of the Massachusetts Republican Party said lawmakers should revisit and amend the right to shelter laws for housing migrants.

Cory Alvarez, 26, was arrested Thursday by Rockland, Mass., authorities and has pleaded not guilty to a single count of aggravated rape of a child. He has been ordered held without bail, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.  

Alvarez’s accuser said he sexually assaulted her at a Comfort Inn that is part of a state and federal program to house migrants. He lived at the hotel, prosecutors said. Massachusetts, like other states, has received an influx of migrants from the southern border, which has strained services and housing resources. 


Cory B. Alvarez mugshot

Cory B. Alvarez allegedly raped a teenage girl at a motel he lived at, which housed migrants. Alvarez entered the United States lawfully in 2023 in New York City and is being held without bail.  (Fox News)

MassGOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale said the arrest of Alvarez exemplifies the state’s struggle with how to manage the migrant crisis.

“It is imperative to discern between appropriate and inappropriate methods of addressing this endeavor, she said in a Thursday statement. “The recent incident exemplifies our state’s struggle to effectively manage the migrant crisis, and the influx of additional migrants may exacerbate the likelihood of such distressing occurrences. There is a pressing need to revisit and amend the legislation pertaining to the right to shelter.” 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Massachusetts Republican Party. 

State Rep. David DeCoste, a Republican who represents the Rockland area, said he was troubled by the alleged rape incident. 

“As it illuminates the genuine public safety ramifications for both residents and migrants themselves, stemming from the enduring migrant crisis,” he said. “I am absolutely appalled by the incident that took place in Rockland. Above all, my heartfelt sympathies extend to the young girl who has reportedly been subjected to abuse. The Commonwealth has failed this young girl.”


Haiti pedestrians

Pedestrians and commuters fill a street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced Tuesday that he would resign once a transitional presidential council is created, bowing to international pressure to make way for new leadership in the country overwhelmed by violent gangs. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

Alvarez lawfully entered the United States on June 26, 2023 through New York City, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Fox News. He entered the U.S. via the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan (CHNV) parole processes, Department of Homeland Security sources told Fox News. 

The policy was initially announced for Venezuelans in October 2022, which allowed a limited number to fly directly into the U.S. as long as they had not entered illegally, had a sponsor in the U.S. already and passed certain checks. 

In January 2023, the Biden administration announced that the program was expanding to include Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans and that the program would allow up to 30,000 people per month into the U.S.

On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, a Democrat, called the alleged rape a “terrible incident.”

“It’s a horrible situation. It’s a horrible allegation. My thoughts are with the victim and her family,” she said. 

Haitian migrant Cory Alvarez

This undated image shows Cory Alvarez, charged with aggravated rape of a child.  (Fox News)


When asked by Boston 25 if the vetting process was adequate, Healey said: “I think we have the right systems in place.”

DeCoste disagreed. 

“This is tragic and unfortunately not uncommon,” he told the news outlet. “And to be able to say honestly that you are truly vetting anyone I think is dishonest.”

ICE has lodged a detainer request for Alvarez with Plymouth County authorities. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 22. 

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