The Coastal Packet: LePage hurting immigrants in Portland

Wednesday, June 17

LePage hurting immigrants in Portland

Press Herald - About 900 immigrants seeking asylum in the city could be without both federal work permits and emergency-relief aid from the state for food or rent by July 1, which Portland Mayor Michael Brennan called a potential “humanitarian crisis.”

Portland is out between $4.5 million to $5.5 million in General Assistance payments since last year, when Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began withholding the state’s share of General Assistance from from municipalities that distribute the aid to people awaiting approval for their asylum requests with the federal government.

Portland officials and business leaders on Monday said continued denial of those payments stands to have an economic effect on the city and state whose population, if not for international migration, would have been on a steady decline rather than remaining flat.

“We are worried about losing some of the most talented people in our community,” said Chris Hall, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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