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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Border Patrol says 250 African asylum seekers came to Maine on their own

    'They chose Portland': U.S. Border Patrol says asylum seekers came to Maine on their own


    Updated: 10:39 PM EDT Jun 14, 2019

    PORTLAND, Maine —U.S. Border Patrol, in a meeting with state and city leaders Friday, said asylum seekers came to Portland on their own after they were processed.

    "We've had a group of approximately 250 in Africa enter between the ports of entry they were encountered by the border patrol. They were processed after making an asylum claim and they chose to come up to Portland, Maine," said Patrol Chief Jason Owens.

    Officials said many chose Portland because they have friends or family already there or because they heard Portland was a welcoming place.

    Also in that meeting, Portland city leaders said more than $200,000 in donations has been collected for asylum seekers in the city and continues to grow.


    During a meeting at the Merrill Rehearsal Hall with other state leaders, Gov. Janet Mills committed state aid and resources, but a specific number was not decided for funding.


    City officials said Thursday there are 170 asylum-seekers in Portland and more are expected to arrive from San Antonio.


    They are currently being cared for at an emergency shelter set up at the Portland Expo.


    [IMG]https://kubrick.htvapps.com/htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/images/shelter1-png-1560454978.png?crop=0.995xw:1.00xh;0.00326xw,0&res ize=136:*[/IMG]

    'Four days without eating': Asylum-seekers describe 'extremely hard' journey to Maine


    City leaders said there are 350 cots at the shelter for asylum-seekers, but the building can hold up to 600 people. The shelter is running 24 hours a day.

    The Salvation Army said it is also housing about 75 asylum seekers in its gym, which is located about a mile from the Expo.


    The asylum-seekers, who are coming to Portland from the southern border, are originally from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to city officials.


    [IMG]https://kubrick.htvapps.com/htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/images/shelter4-png-1560455085.png?crop=0.998xw:1.00xh;0.00163xw,0&res ize=136:*[/IMG]

    How asylum works in the United States


    Community Response
    City Manager Jon Jennings has said the city is working with the state and various community partners to provide services for the asylum-seekers.

    Jennings said Thursday that the president of the University of Southern Maine has offered the use of a dorm to house asylum-seekers.


    "He has generously put on the table the potential use of a dorm on the Gorham campus with approximately 200 units of housing through the dorm system as part of the conversation we will have with Governor Mills tomorrow," Jennings said.


    Officials said Maine Medical Center has provided linens for the shelter and the Maine Center for Disease Control is providing nurses and public health supplies.

    City Dispels Misinformation


    City officials said that any rumors or reports of asylum-seekers carrying the Ebola virus or being at risk are false.

    "I do understand the anxiety and fear it is a legitimate concern that people can have, and it's our responsibility as the city and media to educate folks that there is not a critical health crisis because of the influx of asylum seekers," Jennings said.

    The city manager also addressed a report of someone being turned away at the city's homeless family shelter and then again at the emergency shelter at the Portland Expo.


    Jennings said that does not match up with how the city is approaching people seeking shelter in Portland.


    "I have not heard any report of that. I do know the family shelter is full, but of course we have been operating in an overflow capacity. We are doing our best to keep the Expo mostly focused on families of asylum-seekers. We are not segregating a populations. That wouldn't be the right thing to do." Jennings said.


    Maine Leaders Express Concern

    Maine U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are questioning why the asylum-seekers are being sent to Portland.


    The senators said they have asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for clarity "on the process being used to clear these asylum seekers for transportation to the City of Portland."


    In a joint statement made through a spokesperson for the senators, they said, "This is clearly not a sustainable approach to handling the asylum situation, which is why Senators Collins and King have advocated for bipartisan immigration reform and proposed bipartisan legislation that would both increase border security and address flaws in our current immigration system."


    In Augusta, Republican Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Jeff Timberlake said he is concerned about the financial impact on Portland and the state.

    "They were invited here to an extent, and I don't think it's the state's problem at this point in time to have to fund that. The federal government should be paying for this if they are coming," Timberlake said.


    How To Help Asylum-Seekers

    Jennings said that money to operate the shelter will come from the general fund and not the city's Community Support Fund, which provides financial assistance to asylum-seekers who are barred by the federal government from working for six months after filing their asylum applications.

    Jennings said the city is working to mitigate the expense to taxpayers by working with community partners and the state.

    People wishing to help the asylum seekers can text EXPO to 91999 or visit a website the city created for donations. So far more than $60,000 has been raised.

    People who would like to volunteer can visit a website the United Way has created. The city still says people should not show up at the Expo unless they have received a volunteer assignment. Anyone who shows up at the shelter without a volunteer assignment will be turned away.

    https://www.wmtw.com/article/they-ch...r-own/27948338

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  2. #2
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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