Debbie and I were having breakfast at a hotel in Portland, Maine’s waterfront district recently. Discussion in the dining room focused on a morning Portland Press Herald headline: “Record number of African migrants arriving on U.S.-Mexico border.”
The PPH told readers, “Many were bused to Portland, about as far as one can get from the Mexican border.” In just recent days, according to PPH, 252 asylum seekers have arrived in Portland. The arrivals are from sub-Saharan Africa. Many do not speak English and the PPH writes that hundreds of more are “on the way.”
A new Wall Street Journal report details how Portland — a city of fewer than 67,000 residents — is being overwhelmed by mass legal immigration to the state. The resettlement of thousands of immigrants in the area has strained public services so much that local officials are warning that they cannot handle any more influxes of immigrants.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
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.
Between 2012 and 2018, more than 2,300 foreign refugees were resettled in the state of Maine. A plurality of those refugees resettled — more than 1,700 — are from Iraq and Somalia. Nearly all of the refugees are from African countries. Of all the foreign refugees resettled in Maine since 2012, more than 1,550 were resettled in Portland.
Read more here.
Many of the refugees chose Portland by name reports Patrol Chief Jason Owens. With a reputation for assisting migrants, Portland has become a destination for them, but the city is now struggling under the strain of so many.