Report: Portland, Maine ‘Struggling’ as Mass Immigration from Africa Overwhelms Public Resources

Haitian, Somali Immigrants
Guillermo Arias/ AFP/ Getty

The city of Portland, Maine is “struggling” due to mass legal immigration primarily from Africa being driven to the region as public resources and the state’s social safety net are strained.

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, and pro-bono lawyers are overwhelmed with cases, Mr. MacLean said. [Emphasis added]

Portland’s strain comes as the number of asylum requests, in which people ask to be allowed to stay in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons, has ballooned. That is contributing to the well-publicized bottleneck at the Southwest border and the political clash over it. [Emphasis added]

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. [Emphasis added]

Close to four percent of Maine’s population is now foreign-born, and a study conducted by the city of Portland found that 75 percent of the population growth in the city was driven by foreign-born residents between 2011 and 2016.

There are roughly 51,000 foreign-born residents living in the state of Maine, which has a total population of about 1.3 million.

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.

Legal immigration laws allow foreign nationals seeking asylum in the U.S. to receive public benefits for at least 24 months. These benefits, as the Wall Street Journal notes, can come in the form of vouchers for housing and utilities.

There are about 1,000 residents in Portland receiving this assistance, and anywhere between 65 percent to 70 percent are foreign-born residents, city officials said. Roughly $200,000 of taxpayer money in Portland is budgeted every year to help foreign nationals resettle in the area.

As Breitbart News reported, the New York Times previously complained that states like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont were “nearly all white” and thus posed an “array of problems” for foreign nationals.

Diversity in the U.S. has been primarily driven by mass immigration whereby the country admits more than 1.5 million foreign nationals every year. This diversity has reached a peak high as the foreign population in the U.S. has jumped to 44.5 million immigrants, nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000.

The U.S. has imported more than ten million legal immigrants in the last ten years. Since 2008, the country admitted and permanently resettled close to 10.8 million legal immigrants, a foreign population that exceeds the entire population of New York City, New York — where more than eight million residents live.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder. 

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