News & Events

How Immigration Can Bolster Our Overstretched Medical System


Massachusetts has a well-deserved reputation as a national leader in healthcare and medical research. Despite this, our medical system has also found itself overstretched with the demands placed upon it by the COVID-19 pandemic and other structural factors.

One way to improve healthcare delivery is to provide a pathway to practice for internationally-trained health professionals to augment medical services in underserved areas. MIRA’s work with legislative allies to create the Special Commission on Foreign Trained Medical Professionals bore fruit this week with the release of the Commission’s report recommending pathways to practitioners. MIRA participated in the Commission through three appointees who contributed substantively to the recommendations.

Healthcare remains a deeply unequally distributed resource here. Affluent and centralized regions of the commonwealth receive much stronger and more robust access to health resources and medical attention, despite Massachusetts’ nation-leading physician-to-population ratio. Many communities outside the Greater Boston area, have few or no primary care physicians at all, making it very difficult for their residents to access basic healthcare.

According to the Commission report, more than 600,000 internationally trained healthcare professionals (HCPs) reside in the U.S. and immigrants make up almost one-fifth of the healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Yet compared to US-born or US-trained HCPs, immigrant nurses and physicians are significantly underemployed, unemployed, or work in non-healthcare-related fields.

Much of this gap is due to systemic and structural barriers to licensure, discriminatory regulations, and restrictive regulations.

This Friday MIRA, hosted a press conference at the State House on the recently-released “Special Commission on Foreign-Trained Medical Professionals Report and Recommendations” featuring Commission members and internationally-trained healthcare practitioners. The report includes near, medium, and long-term steps the Commonwealth may take to open pathways to practice for internationally-trained medical professionals and help address these critical shortfalls.

MIRA’s New American Integration Program is recruiting its next cohort

Do you know someone who is interested in gaining skills while serving refugees and immigrants? The New American Integration Program (NAIP) aims to increase community organizations’ capacity to support immigrant integration across our Commonwealth while also building a multicultural leadership pipeline of skilled and passionate providers, educators, interpreters, and leaders.

To help knock down the most immediate hurdles, NAIP trains and places AmeriCorps members to provide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction, job readiness training, and citizenship services at community-based organizations across Massachusetts.

AmeriCorps members make an 11-month commitment to serve full-time from September 7, 2022 until July 31, 2023. Those selected will receive the following benefits:

  • Up to $20,000 living stipend
  • Healthcare benefits
  • $6,345 Education Award upon service completion
  • Monthly T Pass
  • Deferment of Education Loan Payments

To learn more about the application process, host site partners or to recommend someone to this year’s cohort email Thank you for sharing this opportunity with your networks!

Apply today

– Announcements –

  • MIRA is looking to fill out our Political Team by hiring 3 new full-time organizers – a Lead Organizer, a Field Organizer, and a Digital Organizer. These can be remote positions as we are looking for people from the community to be spending their time working in the community, not in the office.
  • Do you need assistance with U.S. Citizenship applications? Our Citizenship team is holding both in-person and virtual clinics at the following dates and times (registration required- reach out by email at or by phone at 617-350-5480 ext 200):
    • Saturday, August 6 (in person-Codman Square Library)
    • Virtual appointments are also available!
  • The Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition has published its report card on the Baker admin’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and equitable vaccine distribution, finding several key failures and areas for improvement.
  • Registration is now open for MIRA’s 40-Hour Basic Immigration Law Course! It will be offered in a hybrid model, starting on October 3. More information and the link to register are available on our website here.

– News-

DHS – DHS Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela

Reuters – U.S. ban on ‘encouraging’ illegal immigration unconstitutional, court rules

Vox – America has an innovation problem. The H-1B visa backlog is making it worse.

– MIRA Member Spotlight-

Each week, we’ll be using this space to spotlight our outstanding MIRA members and the work they do for their communities. This week, we’re highlighting ProGente Connections!

ProGente Connections is comprised of people from a variety of faith traditions and cultural backgrounds, working together to create a new kind of multicultural and ecumenical community based on mutual respect and service. Its mission is to strengthen Brazilian immigrant families and their connection with their communities.

The founders of ProGente Connections learned from its Brazilian partners that the first barrier for an immigrant to overcome is the inability to communicate with others. To that end, English programs provide a chance for better jobs and access to engagement with the wider community.

ProGente offers the community opportunities including: Português Plus classes for children ages 4-14, English Plus (ESL) classes for adults, immigrant rights education and advocacy, and opportunities for facilitated cross-cultural experience.

Donate to MIRA Today!