FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2023
Contact: Robin Nice, Chair, American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s New England Chapter at [email protected]
AILA New England’s Statement on Work Permit Clinics for Newly Arrived Immigrants
The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New England Chapter (AILA New England) applauds the Healey-Driscoll Administration in establishing immigration clinics in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect and process work authorization during the week of November 13, 2023.
Massachusetts is facing a state of emergency as its shelter system is near maximum capacity with new arrivals, including asylum seekers. An estimated 7,500 families are in shelters, many of whom came through the Southern Border, and do not currently have work authorization.
To facilitate expedited issuance of Employment Authorization Documents for those who are eligible, U.S. Department of Homeland Security has mobilized to offer on-site assistance to accept filings, provide receipt notices, and conduct biometrics at the week-long clinic from November 13 to 17, hosted by the Healey-Driscoll Administration and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, facilitated by Massachusetts’ Office of Refugees and Immigrants, AILA New England, and the Boston Bar Association. The clinic will take place in Eastern Middlesex County.
This is an unprecedented effort by the DHS and Commonwealth of Massachusetts and presents a special opportunity for new arrivals in shelters to submit an unprecedented number of applications in a very short time frame, with attorneys’ assistance. Work authorization will afford these migrants a path to self-sufficiency and stability in the New England region.
As a multicultural and linguistically diverse state, our chapter welcomes this partnership to help ease the burden the state is facing. Moreover, the ability to work in the U.S. will boost our local economy and help employers with unmet labor needs. Immigrant households contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxes and hold a tremendous amount of spending power. This partnership is stellar example of what we can accomplish when federal, state, and city government agencies collaborate with nonprofits and professional associations towards shared objectives to address a crisis situation.
As anticipated, our members are ready to volunteer and provide assistance at the clinic. Our chapter also welcomes lawyers and law students with or without immigration experience to volunteer, as training will be provided.