While some of the recommendations will garner all of the headlines, we welcome members of the Blue Mass Group community to delve deeper into a report that represents the best recommendations of policy experts and the immigrant and refugee communities of the Commonwealth. Immigrant integration is in the best interests of everyone in Massachusetts, since having an immigrant population that is fully engaged and supported benefits our economy and the strength of our democracy.
Some highlights include:
Improve access to re-licensing for immigrants and refugees with professional degrees from their home country
A recommendation to allow all students residing in MA access to in-state tuition rates who have completed 3 years of high school in MA, graduated, and sign an affidavit promising to pursue citizenship when a pathway becomes available, regardless of immigration status
Provide parents enrolling LEP (Limited English Proficient) students in schools with a multilingual guide to navigating particular aspects of the state education system
Funding for English for speakers of other languages classes to increase the available slots for the thousands of immigrants (17,000) currently on waiting lists
These recommendations are about benefiting the Commonwealth as much as immigrants: stronger schools, improved public safety, more qualified specialists, stronger families, and successful small businesses benefit all residents. We also hope this will help move the debate on immigration in Massachusetts from one based on rhetoric to one based on fact.