Brendan Fitzpatrick

October 31, 2023

Healey Announces Work Authorization Clinic for Migrants

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

BOSTON - A work authorization clinic for migrants within the state’s emergency shelter system during the week of November 13 has been announced by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey.

The clinic, which is being held in Middlesex County by the state alongside the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will aim to get more sheltered people registered to enter the workforce. MassHire, the Commonwealth Corporation Foundation, and other statewide organizations providing tools such as training and legal resources will be on hand for migrants applying for 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,” Healey said in a statement.

“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 comes as Massachusetts continues to shelter people seeking asylum from other nations; Framingham is one of the Bay State communities that has been impacted by the influx. Speeding up the work authorization process in order to get more people out of the system and into the state’s workforce has been a goal emphasized by the governor.

Healey made pleas to the federal government in mid-October for additional aid in mitigating the situation, adding that Massachusetts was nearing the max amount of people that could be sheltered within their system. Emergency Assistance Director Lt. General Scott Rice announced Monday that there are just over 7,300 families within the system. Once the threshold of 7,500 families within the system is met, a waitlist will be created for those looking for sheltering. State officials are also preparing to expand the HomeBASE program in preparation of the system's limit being reached.

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