Growing up in an immigrant household, in a neighborhood full of immigrants from around the world, Marty knows how much hard work and sacrifice goes into every family’s pursuit of their American Dream. He has stood with immigrants his whole life and been a strong advocate for immigrant rights and immigrant opportunities his whole public career. As mayor of a city where 28.4% of residents are foreign born, he knows that welcoming and supporting immigrants is vital to our economic and community wellbeing.
Mayor Walsh signed the Trust Act his first year in office, ensuring that law enforcement work in partnership with immigrant communities to increase safety for all. When the White House launched its discriminatory travel ban early in 2017, Marty rushed to Logan Airport to show his support. Since then, he has visited frequently with Boston’s Islamic communities and Latinx communities to reassure concerned residents, and he has worked with the Boston Police Department to make building trust with all communities their priority. In the face of intense national pressure, he has affirmed loudly and clearly that Boston is, and always will be, a welcoming city–even offering immigrant families refuge in City Hall itself.
- Policy leadership. Mayor Walsh revitalized Boston’s immigrant support system through the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and created a shared citywide vision through an Immigrant Advancement agenda. Among its achievements:
- Launched Immigrant Information Corners at all 24 branches of the Boston Public Library.
- English language and other integration programs have helped nearly 10,000 immigrant residents.
- Formed a Task Force on Foreign-Trained Professionals to maximize the potential of immigrants to contribute their skills to our economy.
- Held an annual Citizenship Day where last year 800 citizenship applicants received help.
- Expanded translation services at City Hall and in the voting booth.
- Signed the Communications Access Ordinance to require City departments to implement a communications access policy for residents who speak a language other than English or who need assistive technology.
- Created the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund:
- To provide free legal defense for immigrants facing deportation proceedings, in partnership with the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and local funders.
- National leadership.
- Mayor Walsh has communicated to national audiences the importance of immigrants to our economy, our culture, and our public safety. Click here and here to learn more.
- This year Mayor Walsh was honored at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) 30th Annual Capital Awards Gala for his efforts to promote the safety and unity of all families in the face of anti-immigrant threats. Watch Mayor Walsh and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti receive the prestigious Capital Award.
- At the U.S. Conference of Mayors, submitted and passed a resolution in support of extending temporary protected status for Haitians in the U.S. recovering from recent natural disasters.
- Strengthening community.
- Hosted a regional Municipal Leaders for Immigrant Advancement Summit to connect and unite the region in support of pro-immigrant values.
- Mayor Walsh is constantly out in the neighborhoods supporting the many cultures that make up Boston. Most recently, he launched a pro-immigrant mural project inspired by the national campaign “To Immigrants with Love.”
- Hosted “The Faces of Syrian Refugees” Art Exhibit prominently in the main lobby of City Hall in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month.
- Continue to advance policies and programs that allow immigrants to follow their dreams and contribute their talents.
- Continue to speak out on behalf of immigrants in the face of any discriminatory measures or hateful rhetoric that emerge.