Haitian Migrant in Massachusetts Is Charged With Raping a Teenager

A Haitian migrant has been charged with raping a 15-year-old girl at a hotel serving as a migrant shelter in Massachusetts, authorities said Thursday.

Corey B. Alvarez, 26, was arrested on Thursday and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment that day in Hingham District Court on one count of aggravated rape of a child. He entered the United States lawfully in June 2023 through New York, according to James Covington, a spokesman for the Enforcement and Removal Operations unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Boston. But it was unclear through which specific immigration program Mr. Alvarez entered the country.

The charge comes as Boston and other cities grapple with questions over migrant housing and amid intense debate across the country over America’s immigration policy. The killing of a 22-year-old woman at the University of Georgia campus in February became a political flashpoint when a Venezuelan migrant was charged with the crime, with Republicans including former President Donald J. Trump blaming the death on President Biden’s policies. Such statements have struck many liberals as inflammatory rhetoric.

National data has suggested that there is not a causal connection between immigration and crime in the country, and that growth in illegal immigration does not lead to higher local crime rates. Many studies have found that immigrants are less likely than people born in the United States to commit crimes.

In the Massachusetts case, both Mr. Alvarez and the teenager, who is disabled, were living at the Comfort Inn in Rockland, a Boston suburb, according to the Rockland Police. It was not clear whether the girl was also a migrant.

The Comfort Inn is part of a state and federal program to house migrant families, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. There are about 7,500 families enrolled in the emergency shelter system across Massachusetts, with just under 3,900 of them in hotels or motels, according to government figures from Friday. In December, the state reported that just over 3,500 families receiving emergency assistance housing were migrants, refugees or asylum seekers.

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