- Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Upcoming Work Authorization Legal Clinic in Partnership with DHS
Karissa Hand, Press Secretary
Boston — The Healey-Driscoll Administration, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be hosting a work authorization clinic for migrants staying in emergency family shelter during the week of November 13, 2023. The state will be organizing appointments and providing transportation from shelter sites to the clinic, which will take place in Middlesex County. The Biden-Harris Administration will be providing onsite support to help collect and process work authorizations.
“We are glad that the Biden-Harris Administration is hosting this clinic with us, which will help process work authorizations as efficiently as possible. Many shelter residents want to work but face significant barriers to getting their work authorizations,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This clinic will be critical for building on the work that our administration has already been leading to connect more migrants with work opportunities, which will help them support their families and move out of emergency shelter into more stable housing options.”
This clinic will build on several programs currently operated by the state to provide legal assistance to EA families and help shelter residents start working, including:
Commonwealth Corporation Foundation: The administration has launched a new partnership with Commonwealth Corporation Foundation to connect businesses to individuals in shelter who are still waiting for their work authorization but looking to gain on-the-job training and skills development. This new program is beginning as a pilot, starting with Salem but with interest in building business partnerships in other shelters and communities over time. Interested employers and businesses should contact LWDBusinessinfo@mass.gov.
MassHire: This program connects MassHire Regional Workforce Boards and careers centers to shelters statewide with the goal of assessing skills and work readiness of residents who have their work authorization. The initial phase of this new program is focused on 14 shelter sites across the state, representing approximately 1,500 families. The program is already showing results. For example, MassHire South Shore is working with Dunkin Donuts to fill 30 employment openings and coordinating with Plymouth Area Coalition shelter provider to connect shelter residents to jobs. Interested employers and businesses should contact LWDBusinessinfo@mass.gov.
Immigrant Assistance Services: In July, the administration launched the Immigrant Assistance Services (IAS) Program led by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). The IAS program currently operates largely in staffed shelters, assisting with case management and work authorization, asylum, and Temporary Protected Status applications.
Resettlement Agencies Services: In September, the administration launched additional legal aid services led by resettlement agencies. This program focuses on new arrivals who, because of recent changes in federal policy and because these families entered at the border using the CBP1 app, can immediately apply for work authorization.
Pro Bono Program: Earlier this month, the administration launched a Pro Bono Program with immigration organizations to provide services for more than 100 families at large shelters
Legal Services Contract: The administration recently began contracting with legal services agencies to provide services in 25 shelter sites across the state.