Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll and Biden-Harris Administrations Team Up to Assist More Than 1,000 Migrants in One Week at Work Authorization Clinic

Clinic Extends to Another Week to Serve Additional Shelter Residents
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll

Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll and Biden-Harris Administrations Team Up to Assist More Than 1,000 Migrants in One Week at Work Authorization Clinic

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that it assisted more than 1,000 work-eligible migrants staying in emergency family shelters with obtaining work authorizations in the first week of its Work Authorization Legal Clinic in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The number of people served at the clinic is expected to surpass 1,200 by the end of the day Friday. 

The clinic, located in Middlesex County, is comprised of multiple stations staffed by federal, state, and nonprofit organizations to serve new arrivals living in Emergency Assistance shelters with processing authorization documents. The clinic is expected to reduce the processing time for work authorizations down to a matter of weeks, rather than months. 

“Work authorization is key to helping new arrivals get jobs that will help them support their families, move out of emergency shelter into more stable housing options, and fill critical workforce needs across our economy. We’re proud that the first week of this clinic has proven to be such a success, with more than 1,000 people served,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I am grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for partnering with us to help process these applications as quickly as possible, as well as the numerous state and nonprofit agencies for their hard work to support the success of this effort.” 

“This clinic is truly a reflection of how Massachusetts and its residents come together and step up for people in times of need. Over 100 volunteers from our partner organizations staffed the clinic this week to help the site run smoothly,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “Thank you to all of the volunteers for providing essential support and a welcoming environment for families.” 

In addition to assistance navigating the employment authorization process, the clinic offered access to other services and supports, including:  

  • Seasonal vaccinations. More than 500 adults and children were vaccinated at the clinic this week. 

  • Immediate registration as a MassHire customer and access to a MassHire JobQuest account, a digital platform to create a resume, career action plan, search for jobs and follow up with a career counselor. 

  • Assistance enrolling children in childcare. 

“The Work Authorization Legal Clinic is a logistically complex operation that required meticulous coordination, strong partnership, and an unyielding spirit of collaboration,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “The dedication and professionalism demonstrated by the many public servants and volunteers who provided services and ensured efficiency exemplify Massachusetts' best values. I want to extend my deep appreciation to the personnel at MEMA, the National Guard, the State Police, and all our partners who have supported this important effort.” 

“Not only are these new arrivals to Massachusetts eager to be able to work as part of building full lives in our state, but our employers and communities need their time and talent,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. “I am so grateful to the staff and volunteers who have come together to make this clinic happen, working directly with families to help them through the legal process and connecting them with so many other resources, from job training to vaccines.” 

“This week’s clinic was an incredibly important step in our efforts to connect immigrants in shelter with work readiness programs and resources,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones. “Receiving work authorization will open more pathways and job opportunities for those individuals and their families. I appreciate the work of all involved, including our MassHire workforce boards and career centers who volunteered all week to register people with MassHire and help them begin their career journeys.” 

The Work Authorization Center is a collaborative initiative among federal and state agencies, along with a number of nonprofit partners who have coordinated a significant volunteer effort. Partners include: 

  • Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants 

  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency 

  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities 

  • Massachusetts National Guard 

  • Massachusetts State Police 

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health 

  • Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care 

  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Security 

  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office 

  • American Red Cross Massachusetts 

  • Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster 

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 

  • U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) 

  • MassHire 

  • Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) 

  • Boston Bar Association 

  • AILA New England Chapter  

  • Mabel Center for Immigrant Justice 

  • Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) 

“I am proud to partner with the Healey-Driscoll Administration to support this clinic, and grateful for the more than 60 of my staff who volunteered to assist eligible immigrants navigate the complex work authorization process,” said Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. “Our collaborative effort is critical to providing relief to our shelters, meeting the needs of our workforce, and giving immigrants the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families.” 

“Mabel Center is proud to have worked with the Healey-Driscoll Administration, our federal partners and the American Immigration Lawyers Association to organize this large-scale clinic helping more than 1000 individuals receive their work authorizations in just weeks,” said Jill Seeber, Executive Director, Mabel Center for Immigrant Justice. “We were impressed with the collaborative effort between state and federal governments, community organizations, and legal services working diligently towards a common goal. Whether it was retirees volunteering through Red Cross to assist with welcoming immigrants, National Guard comforting crying infants while keeping the process orderly, law students showing up between classes to help, or attorneys, legal services and community organizations donating significant time and expertise, these clinics demonstrate our Massachusetts values and what we can accomplish when we work together.” 

The clinic is set to operate again during the week of November 27. Services are available to pre-identified migrants who are staying in emergency family shelters and are potentially eligible for or in the process of applying for employment authorization. The state will again organize appointments and provide transportation to and from shelter sites and the clinic. 

Images of the clinic for media use can be accessed here.  

Video footage for media use can be accessed here


Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll and Biden-Harris Administrations Team Up to Assist More Than 1,000 Migrants in One Week at Work Authorization Clinic

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are committed to bringing people together and making Massachusetts a place where every worker, business and family can succeed.
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