Asylum seekers

Julie Pike / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - A Trump administrative directive to shift federal resources from Boston and Newark, New Jersey, could increase delays for asylum seekers in the Northeast.

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey has joined four other state attorneys general in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule that makes it harder for immigrants to get green cards and become citizens.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Officials in Portland say they will meet the Thursday deadline to vacate the Expo Center, which has served as a makeshift emergency shelter for the nearly 450 asylum seekers who have arrived in the city since the beginning of June.

Julie Pike / Maine Public

With a deadline approaching to move recently arrived asylum seekers out of the Portland Expo, support organizations are seeking more host families to provide temporary housing.

The Maine Center for Disease Control is responding to reports of varicella, or the chickenpox virus, at the Portland Expo Center, where hundreds of asylum seekers are being housed.

Some immigration advocates in Portland say that while they support the state’s proposed rule change to expand eligibility for General Assistance, the current wording of the measure could keep some immigrants from receiving help.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The city of Portland has received more than $900,000 in recent donations to help assist newly arrived asylum seekers. Finance officials are recommending the city prioritize housing, basic needs and reimbursing local groups as it begins to appropriate the funds.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Leaders from Portland's immigrant communities say they are working to clear up any confusion over the city housing policy for the hundreds of asylum seekers facing an August 15 deadline to move out of the Portland Expo building.

Ed Morin / Maine Public

Officials in the city of Portland are racing the clock to find housing for more than 200 migrant families who unexpectedly arrived after a long, dangerous journey through the U.S.-Mexico border last month. But as the Aug. 15 deadline approaches to close the makeshift shelter currently housing the families, city officials say some migrants are turning down housing in neighboring communities.

Portland officials say they’re struggling to house many of the newly arrived families seeking asylum because some families have refused housing options outside of Portland.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

It has been more than a month since the city of Portland opened its Expo building as an emergency shelter to house the hundreds of migrants, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, who’ve arrived from the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

Julie Pike / Maine Public

Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that the state is relaxing eligibility rules for General Assistance and will allow qualified asylum seekers to apply. The decision comes as more than 350 migrants have arrived in Portland since early June from the southern U.S. border. Local officials say the new rule provides needed funding as many of the newly arrived families relocate to other towns around the state.

The Trump administration has implemented its strongest effort yet to curb asylum claims, but an internal memo shows that U.S. asylum officers weren't briefed until just hours before the sweeping immigration rule went into effect Tuesday.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Hundreds of protesters gathered near the Portland Expo Center Sunday to show support for asylum seekers who have arrived in Maine in the last month.

Julie Pike / Maine Public

The city of Portland has made arrangements to move several asylum seekers from emergency shelters in the city to private housing in Brunswick.

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