Immigration Status


Two “Family Welcome Centers” are now open in Massachusetts to help connect families, especially immigrant families, with shelter, services, supplies, and transportation.

Last-reviewed: 11am, Sept. 19, 2023

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • RIAN Center continues to work remotely. Apply for a free legal consultation by calling 617-542-7654.
  • For more immigration information and updates, visit our Federal Digital Digest.
  • There are now two “Family Welcome Centers” open in Massachusetts to help families, especially immigrant families, seeking services, supplies, transportation and shelter. One is located at the Brazilian Work Center at 14 Harvard, Ave, Allston, MA. The second one is located at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA.

The Breakdown

  • Those who qualify as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant may be eligible for benefits offered through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, including, cash assistance, medical assistance, and more. See Cuban/Haitian Entrant Fact Sheet for more information.
  • The Immigrant Assistance Services (IAS) is a new program designed to help newly arrived immigrants in MA access services for immediate needs, including food, shelter, and medical care. More information here.
  • The increased use of ICE’s Alternatives to Detention program (ATD) has resulted in the opening of an additional Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP) office for Massachusetts located at BI, Inc., 10 Speen Street, Suite 201, Framingham, MA 01701.
  • DHS’s public charge final rule went into effect on December 23, 2022. Read the USCIS press release here. Under the rule, DHS will not consider in public charge determinations benefits received by family members other than the applicant. In addition, the benefits on this non-exhaustive list are not considered for public charge:
    • SNAP (food stamps) and WIC
    • MassHealth/Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization)
    • Public housing
    • Section 8
    • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Affordable Connectivity Program

Protecting Immigrant Families has updated public charge guidance for advocates here.

The Bottom Line

  • Constant changes to immigration law and policies make an uncertain time even more uncertain for immigrant populations. Families with questions about public charge should connect with immigration experts to have their specific questions and needs evaluated.