Our work at Immigrant Advancement
The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement was created in 1998 as the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians. We want to get immigrants active in Boston’s civic, social, and cultural life.
We make sure immigrants have the same access to services that all residents enjoy. We also highlight the role immigrants play in Boston’s growth.
Our Four Main Goals
1. FINDING AND DEALING WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES
To find out what matters in each immigrant community in Boston, we use focus groups, interviews, and surveys. In the Summer of 2015, we conducted Community Leaders and Community Member Surveys. We received about 500 responses from across Boston.
Through supporting the English for New Bostonians program, we’ve increased access to English language classes. These programs help about 1,100 adults every year.
We hold immigration clinic events with volunteer lawyers twice each month. We offer free information about immigration law and help about 400 people each year. Learn more about the clinics.
Our Immigrant Integration and Empowerment Initiative works to give immigrant residents a voice in City of Boston decisions. The initiative is also contributing to the City’s Resilience Plan.
We host Citizenship Day each year, where hundreds of people get help with applications for naturalization.
The City’s Task Force on Foreign-Trained Professionals is one of the first in the country. The task force explores steps the City can take to support members of our workforce who were educated and trained in other countries.
2. REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY
We work every day to reach out to immigrants across the City.
Immigrant Information Corners are at all Boston Public Libraries. You can find materials on naturalization, scams, City services, scholarships, and help with finances. The project is a partnership with the help of:
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services
- the Boston Public Library
- the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment
- Boston Cares, and
- other community partners.
Our Advisory Board is made up of 30 leaders from different parts of the community. They guide our work and connect us to key communities and stakeholders.
We also have a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DACA/DAPA) Outreach and Education Initiative. We work with 21 community groups to offer screening services and anti-fraud workshops. We also promote public awareness about these federal immigration actions through the media. Learn more about federal immigration policies.
Our Mini-Grants Program awarded funds to 12 Boston-based, immigrant-led community groups. These groups used the funds to increase their capacity to help the immigrant community.
3. GETTING IMMIGRANTS CITY SERVICES
We strengthen the ties between immigrants and the City to make sure all have access to City services.
We hold events and meetings to introduce City officials, including the mayor, to the community.
We help City departments when they work with translators and interpreters. We also educate City staff about working with immigrant residents.
Our community resource directory lets immigrants know who they can turn to outside of City Hall.
We help limited English speakers with many services at the City through our:
- volunteer interpreter pool
- information and referral programs, and
- our publications, including our guide to City of Boston services.
4. PROMOTING IMMIGRANTS IN BOSTON
We want to show the impact immigrants have had on Boston’s growth:
Our annual We Are Boston Gala highlights how immigrants have added to the City.
We take part in Immigrant Heritage Month and National Welcoming Week. We host and promote local events, and encourage people to add their thoughts on social media.
In April 2016, we hosted the White House Regional Convening on New Americans. This event highlighted the City’s contribution in building a welcoming community, and the White House’s role in immigrant integration.