The far end of Terminal E at Logan International Airport looked different on Tuesday night compared to previous nights over the past few months when hundreds of mostly Haitian migrants were sleeping on its floors.

That’s following a new policy in which families are no longer allowed to spend the night in the airport. The Healey Administration announced the change last month, saying it would take effect July 9.

Plastic yellow barriers a few feet tall run all around the edges of an airport terminal.
Barriers are set up in Logan Airport's Terminal E on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Migrant families had previously slept overnight in the terminal.
Sarah Betancourt GBH News

The change is the result of “recent efforts to open a new safety-net site, move more families out of shelter, and share a message at the U.S. southern border that Massachusetts is out of shelter space,” according to the administration.

On Tuesday night, a state worker was present to hand out flyers in Haitian Creole listing what families can do to seek shelter.

No migrant families were visible or had visited the employee by 10 p.m., a time at which in past weeks dozens would have been arriving back at the airport after spending the day at a church in Mattapan.

There were no scenes of blow up mattresses, blankets, or takeout containers, or children running between tired parents trying to charge phones using the few available outlets.

A person's hands rest atop a closed laptop on one side of a desk, with two sheets of paper saying "deplase nan Boston" on the other side of the desk.
A state worker at Logan Airport sits at a desk with flyers informing migrants of the new policy against sleeping overnight in the terminals on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.
Sarah Betancourt GBH News

It’s a drastic shift. At the end of June, GBH News spoke with Nathalie Jean Philippe and her family, Haitian migrants who had spent more than three weeks shuffling between a church during the day and Terminal E at night. She said she struggled to sleep. Her husband was so exhausted he felt ill. And their 5-year-old son wouldn’t eat at the airport.

“I don’t like staying at the airport,” Philippe said through a Haitian Creole interpreter, “but I don’t know where else to go.”

Even with the approaching deadline, there were still 46 people sleeping at Terminal E on Monday night. A spokesperson for the Healey Administration said all of them were connected with an alternative place to stay.

If migrant families do arrive after Tuesday, the state will “engage any migrants regarding their options and that they cannot stay at Logan,” according to Massport spokesperson Jennifer Mehigan.

Nonprofits are also providing staff at Logan to help migrants with case management, ask questions about their circumstances, and connect them with the right resources.

That includes staff from La Colaborativa, the Chelsea-based social service organization. They will be onsite each day until 1 a.m., according to executive director Gladys Vega. She told GBH News that the group is prepared to provide arriving migrants with transportation if needed.

“I have a driver on call and if we have to bring them to La Colaborativa and I spend the night with them here in my office, I will do whatever it takes. But I’m not going to have a child, you know, outside anywhere,” said Vega. “You never know if 20 families will show up and that’s probably like 75 people in there.”

Multiple sources told GBH News that there is one possible exception to the new policy. Migrants who arrive late will be allowed to sleep in the airport for one night, or treated as travelers “in transit”, but they cannot return after that first night.

“As a major airport, we regularly have flights that are delayed/ cancelled/diverted with passengers 'stranded’ at Logan until their flight is rescheduled,” said Mehigan in a statement. “On a daily basis, our staff engage with these passengers and others to offer help and answer questions. I am confident in our staff’s ability to engage with people inside Logan and offer assistance without issue.”

She did not elaborate on whether that applies to migrants.

In response to questions about the new construction signs and barriers in Terminal E where families had been sleeping, Mehigan said those are legitimate and part of the plan.

A long line of yellow plastic barriers block off the edges of a long hallway in an airport.
Barriers cordon off an area at Logan Airport's Terminal E on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, where migrant families had previously slept overnight.
Sarah Betancourt GBH News

“The timing of the Gov’s announcement was part of the overall plan since we need the space in [Terminal] E for some construction laydown,” she said. “We are replacing the older ticket counters on the departure level, so we will be staging the new counters and equipment in that space.”

She said that staff will continue to work with the state to connect any newly arrived migrants with welcome centers, which are located in Allston and Quincy.

Vega said La Colaborativa will also help migrants reconnect with family, even in other states, if it leads to a safe place to stay.

“Let’s suppose that they are in Massachusetts, but they have an aunt that lives in Chicago,” Vega said. “If I have to sort of like call the aunt and say, 'Hey, you know, I’ll be willing to buy her, you know, family member a ticket, would you be able to host them there?’”

The state is doing something similar, having nonprofits at family welcome centers ask migrants if they have family or friends outside of the state they can stay with. If so, the state will cover the cost of getting there.