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The challenges facing people seeking asylum in Maine, and what is being done to help

Josefina, a pregnant mother from Angola who is seeking asylum in the US, with her five-year-old son Juliao at a new emergency shelter at the Salvation Army. Josefina, who identified herself only by her first name due to the sensitivity of her asylum claim, said what she wants most of all is a stable home to raise her children.
Ari Snider / Maine Public

The number of asylum seekers coming to Maine is rising, with more than 780 people arriving since the start of 2023. We’ll learn what challenges they are facing—including the obstacles to working legally --what service organizations and municipalities are doing to try to accommodate them, and what people can do to help. We will also discuss the opportunities that these new arrivals bring to the state. This show is part of our yearlong series about the changing face of Maine.

Mufalo Chitam, executive director, Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition
Lisa Parisio, policy and outreach attorney, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Kristen Dow, director, Health & Human Services, City of Portland
VIP Callers:
Ari Snider, Report for America reporter, Maine Public; covers the immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking communities of Maine
Julie Allaire, chief programs officer, Catholic Charities Maine
Alex Carter, policy advocate,Maine Equal Justice Partners

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