Governor Patrick, Secretary Bigby and members of the GACRI at the New Americans Agenda report release.
On July 9, 2008, Governor Patrick signed Executive Order 503, "Integrating Immigrants and Refugees into the Commonwealth," thus launching the New Americans Agenda for Massachusetts.
The Executive Order calls for the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants (MORI) and the Governor's Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants (GACRI), in partnership with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) and other community organizations, to develop and deliver a series of policy recommendations that emphasize the positive integration of these communities into the economic and civic life of the Commonwealth.
The information for these recommendations was generated over the last year by a series of public meetings across the state in addition to research, interviews with experts, and input from state agencies in issue-based policy working groups.
The GACRI delivered its final recommendations to Gov. Patrick on Oct. 1, 2009. The Governor publicly released the report on Nov. 17, 2009. These recommendations will form the basis of the work of an inter-agency work group convened by the Governor to develop an implementation plan and timeline.
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- New Americans Recommendations Released
- Governor's Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants (GAC) Press Release
- Civic Engagement Times: September to October 2008 (RTF)
- New Americans Agenda Links
- Executive Order No. 503
- New American Partners
- New Americans Agenda Links
- ORI Statute and Regulations
Office for Refugees and Immigrants
The Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants is a state agency which works to support the effective resettlement of refugees and the coordination of state policies and programs that affect and serve immigrants; to promote the full participation of refugees and immigrants in the economic, civic, social and cultural life of the Commonwealth; and to foster a public environment that recognizes and supports the ethnic and cultural diversity of the state.
GACRI was created in 1983 and is a group of volunteer appointed advisors charged with counseling the Governor on policy and programs for immigrants and refugees in the Commonwealth.
The MIRA Coalition is made up of over 120 community, service, and labor organizations. MIRA works to advocate for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. In partnership with its members, MIRA advances this mission through education, training, leadership development, organizing, policy analysis and advocacy.
Ten community based organizations were chosen to be New Americans Agenda Network Organizations to help organize the series of community meetings across the Commonwealth and to participate in the drafting of the New Americans Agenda report recommendations.
Immigrant Integration Initiatives in Other States
The Massachusetts New Americans Agenda was informed by the work of several states, including Illinois and New Jersey, which have recently undertaken similar integration-based strategies. These integration projects have inspired similar initiatives in Virginia, Washington, Maryland and other states across the country.
This information is provided by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants.