• April 19, 2024

Migrant Influx Overwhelming Maine

 Migrant Influx Overwhelming Maine

EMMA CAMPBELL | MAY 19, 2023

Maine is quickly coming to the end of its space for migrants and immigration shows no signs of slowing down.

Organizations helping provide relief in Portland are quickly running out of room to hold more people. Portland reopened its basketball arena in April to host asylum seekers for the second time in recent years, but it is now nearing maximum capacity.

As of 2020, 4% of Maine’s population was made up of immigrants, according to the American Immigration Council. A recent survey conducted by MaineHousing shows the number of people experiencing homelessness in Maine has tripled since 2020, rising to more than 4,000 people. Though the survey does not identify how many of those people are immigrants seeking asylum, the sharp rise in overall numbers as well as the increase of women and racial minorities reflects the ongoing surge of people from other countries arriving in Maine.

Some Portland residents are beginning to protest the city prioritizing non-citizens over Americans. Portland activist Richard Ward told Fox News that shelters were reserved for asylum seekers while “Americans that were homeless were given tents and sleeping bags,” and basically left to fend for themselves.

Related: CBS’ ‘FBI: Most Wanted’ Calls Busing Migrants to NYC a ‘Publicity Stunt’

Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) submitted a letter to the Department of Homeland Security in March, asking them to intervene to stop the flow of migrants to Maine, but she still has not heard a response.

In her letter, Collins specifically requested that DHS only allow people who have verified addresses of where they can live to enter the state.

“The lack of a response tells me that they’re not verifying the addresses,” Collins said to Portland news station WGME 13.

The end of Title 42 last week promises to only increase the amount of migrants coming to Maine, and residents are bracing themselves for what is to come.

 

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