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Walsh awards $100K in grants to support immigrant community

Immigrant-led organizations that help that community in Boston have received a funding boost from Mayor Marty Walsh.
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Immigrants and workers seen here for May Day "Here To Stay" Rally in May 2017. Photo: Derek Kouyoumjian/Metro

Mayor Marty Walsh has awarded $100,000 total to 10 immigrant organizations as an investment into those members of the city’s community.

Walsh announced the grants, which disperse the $100,000 among multiple immigrant-led and immigrant-serving groups, through the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement on Wednesday.

“Boston is a city that welcomes all residents, and works to lift up every family and individual in our city," he said in a statement. "Lifting up everyone includes our immigrant communities — I'm proud these grants will help improve lives here in the City of Boston, and give all residents an opportunity to succeed."

The ten chosen non-profits will help Boston immigrants through services like welcoming and supporting evacuees from the recent natural disasters, organizing and hosting immigration legal screening clinics and conducting family preparedness education workshops.

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Walsh has repeatedly said that immigrants are important to the fabric of the city, and a 2017 report cited the immigrant community here as a driving force behind Boston's population and workforce growth since 1980.

Immigrants comprise 28.4 percent of Boston residents, a total of about 190,123 people foreign-born people, according to Boston Planning and Development Agency data. In the state overall, immigrants total about 16 percent.

The grant-winning organizations include African Community Economic Development, Asian American Resource Workshop, Brazilian Women’s Group, Irish International Immigration Center, Roslindale IS for Everyone and more.

“The past few months have been very difficult for all immigrants living in this country, and particularly for those affected by the elimination of their Temporary Protected Status," said Geralde Gabeau, executive director at Immigrant Family Services Institute, in a statement.

"With this hostile environment, demands for services have risen exponentially,” he continued. “Most of us community leaders have been called to respond to this crisis with no resources. This mini-grant is a great way to start putting in place the infrastructure needed to support our immigrant community.”