FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2023
Contact: Robin Nice, Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New England Chapter at [email protected]
AILA New England’s Statement on the Success the of Work Permit Clinic for Newly Arrived Immigrants
The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New England Chapter (AILA New England) is thrilled with the two week-long work permit clinics that ended the week of December 1, 2023. Over the course of nine business days, approximately 1,200 work permit applications were filed and biometrics were completed on-site, and roughly an additional 800 biometrics were completed for those who had previously applied, but not yet completed the biometrics stage. This means roughly 2,000 immigrants residing in shelters will soon have employment authorization.
AILA New England is grateful for the collaborative spirit of the Healey-Driscoll Administration and cooperation with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Staff from USCIS were incredibly efficient and compassionate during these two weeks. We are thankful for all our partners’ exemplary efforts at making this clinic such a success, including the Mabel Center for Immigrant Justice, the Office for Refugees & Immigrants, the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and the Boston Bar Association.
This was an unprecedented effort by USCIS and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and truly highlights what can happen when state and federal agencies work together to address immigration issues in a cooperative, humane manner. Work authorization will afford these migrants a path to self-sufficiency and stability in the New England region and boost our local economy.
As anticipated, our chapter members came out in strong support along with many other volunteers at the clinic. This is a momentous moment in immigration not only locally, but nationally. These clinics serve as a reminder of the welcoming spirit of New England, but also the United States.