Portland Faces Shelter Crowding As Asylum Seekers Arrive

May 6, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine - Officials in Maine's largest city say dozens of arrivals of asylum seekers are straining a shelter system that's already overcrowded.

The Portland Press Herald reports nearly 50 people have arrived seeking asylum in Portland in the past few weeks. Portland officials say the shelter system's facing a new burden from immigrants arriving through the U.S.-Mexico border and attempting to make their way to the coastal Maine city.
 
The arrivals come after a year in which Portland officials warned that the city's family shelter was nearing a crisis of overcrowding. The crowding was partly due to new families from African countries who've sought asylum here.
 
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling said at a public meeting last week that he believes "the people of this city want us to welcome immigrants without question.''