Saturday, February 2, 2019

Seeking Asylum in Maine

No good deed goes unpunished. The fine upstanding burghers of Maine, people who are notably kind toward all manner of refugees, are facing an influx of refugees, mostly from African countries. These refugees have heard that Portland, Maine is the place to go for assistance. Thus, they go to Portland, Maine and are busting the city and state budgets… thus reducing the amount of aid available for citizens in need.

This community has long offered a generous hand to immigrants.

But Maine’s largest city, population about 67,000, is now struggling with an influx of asylum seekers, to the point where a local official is alerting shelters in other parts of the country to discourage people from heading here.

“The word is out there that our community is open to that population and has some assistance programs,” said David MacLean, administrator of Portland’s Social Services Division. “Our local resources are not able to keep up.”

Asylum seekers, who are primarily from African countries, now make up 90% of the people living in Portland’s city-run family shelter and overflow shelter, where new arrivals sleep on mats. A city fund that assists with necessities is dwindling fast, and pro-bono lawyers are overwhelmed with cases, Mr. MacLean said.

Maine law protects and provides for the migrants:

Under Maine law, asylum seekers who have filed an application may qualify for general assistance, for up to 24 months. Funded by the state and municipalities, that program provides vouchers for rent, utilities and other staples.

In Portland, 65% to 70% of the 1,000 people now receiving general assistance are noncitizens, primarily asylum seekers, according to city staff. The city re-evaluates their eligibility every 30 days, and recipients must perform work for the city in return for the aid. Local nonprofits also help asylum seekers with needs, from winter coats to language classes.

It sounds like a pretty good deal.

Former Maine governor  Paul LePage appeared on Fox News to address the Wall Street Journal article (via Maggie’s Farm):

The former GOP governor of Maine appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday to address reports that his state’s largest city, Portland, is facing an “asylum crisis” as migrants flood in and overwhelm available shelters and public assistance.

Former Gov. Paul LePage, who left office earlier this month, addressed details in a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday headlined, “Maine’s Largest City Strains Under Asylum-Seeker Influx.”

The problem is not limited to Maine. Good New Englanders, in a spasm of rebellion against the dread Trump administration, are opening their arms to the new migrants:

 “This is happening all across New England,” Ingraham added. “But Portland brought it on itself, and people are going to be left to pick up the pieces.”

“What it really does — it takes away from the disabled, the elderly, people with intellectual disabilities. They’re pushed aside. They’re put on waiting lists, and the money goes to asylum seekers and undocumented citizens that — people that come to the state of Maine,” LePage (pictured above) said. “And that’s been going on for years.”

Good luck, Maine.


Anonymous said...

I know it would be mean to say "We told you this was going to happen," but, "WE TOLD YOU THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!"
One of the thing that people forget when they talk about prior immigration is that those people came, worked, assimilated, et al. They made it, for the most part, on their own. There was little or no welfare given to most.
I don't blame the people who want to have a better life. I blame the people who are using these people to destroy the culture that made us one of the most exceptional countries in the world. And for those who don't believe in this country's exceptionalism one only needs to look at a large number of people who want to come here. The capitalist country that we are is having to deal with an inflow whereas the Socialist paradises like Cuba, Venezuela, et al, are losing population. One sees the same example here with states that are attempting to produce the socialist state. AOC anyone!
The real problem with being a democracy, which we were never meant to be, is that people begin to realize that they can vote to steal other people's hard work and money. This goes on until, like Maine, there is no money left other than to bankrupt everyone.
Thinking that one can make the rich pay more than they already do forget that money is fungible and can, before Trump, moved or generated outside this country. The rich did not get rich by being stupid. Though one might wonder given Styier(SP) and the environment because he made very large sums of money on energy companies as a hedge fund capitalist.

trigger warning said...

When VOLAG (VOLuntary AGency) contractors like Catholic Charities, Church World Services, and World Relief Inc. get paid by the Federal government on a per capita/family basis for "resettling" refugees, you can expect more refugees.

Follow the money.

In fact, the creation of tax-exempt "charitable" organizations in the US tax law has been a major factor in the creation of employment "safe spaces" ripe for colonization by otherwise unemployable SJWs; e.g., Barack "Lightworker" Obama and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Directorship plum.

"[T]oday, as the Annenberg Challenge proceeds into its fifth and final year, all hopes have diminished."
--- LA Times, 4/7/1998

Abandon hope, all ye who enter there.

UbuMaccabee said...

From Politico EU on contemporary Sweden:

"Gang-related gun murders, now mainly a phenomenon among men with immigrant backgrounds in the country’s parallel societies, increased from 4 per year in the early 1990s to around 40 last year. Because of this, Sweden has gone from being a low-crime country to having homicide rates significantly above the Western European average. Social unrest, with car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, is a recurring phenomenon.

Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities. News of attacks are quickly replaced with headlines about sports events and celebrities, as readers have become desensitized to the violence. A generation ago, bombings against the police and riots were extremely rare events. Today, reading about such incidents is considered part of daily life."

Coming to New England. I live in Dixie; this will not happen here. That's why I live in Dixie. We're the last bastion of the normals.

sestamibi said...

Two observations:

1) Looks like the folk in Maine are trying to out-Portland their kin out in Oregon.

2) There is now not one Republican House member from all six New England states. Why does that surprise me.

Mike said...

I live in Portland, Maine and it has been welcoming refugees for well over a decade. In that time, it has been the ONLY part of Maine to thrive. Property values are up, the economy is strong (for Maine), and it is the only place in Maine gaining residents. Why? Because people want to live in a city with moral values and a big heart.

The part of Maine that voted for LePage and doesn't have immigrant, refugees and asylum seekrs? That part of Maine is losing people. That part of Maine can't sustain itself.

By the way, the news is VERY misleading. the primary shelter for SINGLE people is made up of mostly native Mainers. That is the traditional homeless shelter that most people think of. The FAMILY shelter, a smaller facility, has a lot of families of asylum seekers.

Most of you have no idea what you are talking about. Portland, Maine (and nearby S. Portland and Westbrook) overwhelmingly elect people who care and welcome immigrants.

So how about the rest of you mind your own damn business?

trigger warning said...

Mike, I suggest you consider the wise words of Walter Winchell: "You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”

However, should you wish to inform the parties responsible for reporting about Portland ME, this link will be helpful...

"How to Send a Letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal"

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Because we’re a country, Mike. A country of laws. So it is everyone’s business. And you “welcoming” and “big-hearted” people don’t get that.

Most people like you in the Portland area have no solutions for the economic prospects for people in the rest of the state. You’ve exacerbated the have-have not mentality that brought you the dreaded, evil LePage.

And I do know what I’m talking about. Did you vote for any of those nutty taxation ballot initiatives in this last election? Where do you think those economically defeatist ideas came from? More of your morality, which will allow Down East elites to feel better about themselves, while people in Aroostook County can’t find jobs. Yes, yes... let’s close all the paper mills, and people can learn to code.

Anonymous said...


Human need has no season, and no limits. Where do you stop?

Africa has lots of people. And problems. So do we, and we cannot absorb them all.

If you want to, fine. Your puffing about extra-Portland losing people is not a moral claim, but an economic one. But this is not an entirely economic issue.

Why are undocumented immigrants more important than your citizens? Where’s the morality in that? That’s the question many of us have. Angela Merkel tried this kind of thing, and it’s not going well at all.

And the biggest question is this: why are people going to Maine? Seems like a strange choice. Unless you’re into family reunification and anchor babies. Those kinds of things have nothing to do with economics. You want to welcome families instead of taking care of single people? You’re going to have them in a big way.

Homelessness is up 70% in Portland. And issues like FGM (almost ubiquitous in Muslim sub-Saharan Africa) will likely go through the roof. How do you feel about those kinds of things? Is that the kind of morality you endorse? What standards do you propose for asylum seekers? Are you just going to take them at their word?

Any limits, Mike? What kinds of limits? You don’t sound like someone who’d be comfortable with that sort of thing unless it might affect the stupid people who live outside Portland.