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Speaker Mariano Joins Policymakers and Advocates to Celebrate 28th Annual Immigrants Day at the State House

Speaker Mariano Joins Policymakers and Advocates to Celebrate 28th Annual Immigrants Day at the State House

Boston, MA – Today, House Speaker Ron Mariano joined fellow legislators, immigrants rights advocates and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition in applauding recent expansions in immigrant and refugee rights, while highlighting the progress that remains.   

“I’m always grateful to MIRA for putting this event together, and for their continued collaboration on the issues facing immigrants and refugees in Massachusetts,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “We’ve demonstrated in the past that we can achieve great things when we work together, such as authorizing the issuance of driver’s licenses to everyone regardless of immigration status and extending in-state tuition to Massachusetts ‘Dreamers.’ I look forward to continuing to work together to make the Commonwealth an even more welcoming place for immigrants from all over the world.”

Focusing on the theme of “Courage to Welcome,” today’s event – the 28th annual Immigrants Day at the State House – celebrated crucial legislative victories from the past year, including the historic passage of tuition equity, which expands access to in-state tuition at public colleges and universities to eligible individuals regardless of immigration status. 

The event emphasized additional policy reforms key to both empowering immigrants and refugees and to facilitating economic, social, and cultural growth in the Commonwealth. These include supporting recent immigrants, bolstering access to non-English state resources, and offering a path to permanent licensure for internationally-trained physicians. 

“I am honored to have spoken at Immigrants’ Day at the State House, embracing the theme ‘Courage to Welcome,”’ said State Senator Lydia Edwards (D-Boston). “Our community’s strength comes from the diversity and resilience of our immigrants. In times of division, it’s our shared responsibility to welcome those seeking a new life among us. Celebrating with colleagues and diverse community voices, we acknowledged our collective courage to support and uplift every newcomer, reinforcing our commitment to making our commonwealth a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”

“Today’s event highlighted not only the broad support for celebrating gains in immigrant and refugee rights, but for expanding those rights further,” said Elizabeth Sweet, Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition. “In making clear our ‘Courage to Welcome’, we plan to work closely with state leaders and advocates to advance immigrant and refugee rights, and ultimately, invest in the future of Massachusetts.”

“Today, policymakers and advocates from across Massachusetts showcased their courage to welcome immigrants and refugees pursuing a better life for themselves and their families,” said Gladys Vega, Executive Director of La Colaborativa. “We must build off of this moving forward, promoting policies that help new immigrants get on their feet, and position all to thrive in the Commonwealth.”

Attendees also heard from State Representative Manny Cruz (D-Salem) and Cristian Dubon Solis, Program Coordination for Stories Inspiring Movements (SIM). The Boston Missionary Baptist Community Center’s Haitian Choir also delivered a cultural performance. MIRA’s Political Director Maroni Minter emceed the event.

Viewers can watch a recording of today’s program here. Once speakers completed their remarks, advocates met with their state legislators to urge expansions in immigrant and refugee rights.