Immigrants in Maine


Over the past several weeks, agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection have carried out random stops of people to question them about their citizenship, miles away from the nearest border.

On June 21, two Bangor Daily News reporters, recorded audio from a Maine checkpoint on I-95 and posted it on the paper's website.

The policy isn't new. It's based on rules put in place in 1952  that allow the agency to randomly stop people within 100 miles of any U.S. "external boundary."

Concord Coach Lines

A little less than one month after a video taken by a passenger showed an employee of Concord Coach Lines telling a passenger in Bangor that they had to be a citizen to ride the bus, the company has released a statement saying it doesn't deny people passage based on citizenship, and that it never has.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she opposes the Trump administration policy that has separated at least 2,000 immigrant children from their parents at the Mexico border, but that she is not on board with a Democratic bill that would force the administration to abandon a policy that has produced widespread condemnation.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

On a farm in Lewiston, fresh garlic is growing plentifully, and beet greens and spinach are popping out of the ground across three acres of farmland. Not long ago, though, there wasn’t anything growing here.

Four new Mainers, originally from Somalia, have been farming this land in Lewiston since they broke ground in 2016, but they have all been farming much longer.

Alban Bowens works on the ceiling at a job site on Forest Avenue in Portland.
Caroline Losneck / Maine Public


The Portland-based construction and renovation company Bondeko actively trains and hires immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

For the past several weeks, “new” Mainers have been breaking bread with longtime residents of Lewiston and Auburn, swapping stories about their families and breaking down stereotypes about immigrants and refugees.

It’s part of a national initiative to address the uptick in hate crimes. One focus of the sessions is to teach bystanders how to safely intervene in a bias incident before it escalates.

Caroline Losneck

PORTLAND, ME– About 100 people gathered at Portland's Deering Oaks Park Saturday afternoon to voice their support of immigrant communities, and protest recent developments that bode ill for migrants seeking a new life in the United States.

Nick Woodward / MPBN

In this turbulent political year, we’ve been exploring the stories of immigrants and their families in Maine. Today, we take you to Lewiston, where a community of African migrants is writing a new chapter in the story of Maine by breathing new life into old farmland.

Jennifer Mitchell / MPBN

One of the volatile political topics of 2016, not just in America but in Europe as well, is that of immigration and resettlement. Here at home, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has put Mexico at the center of his rhetoric, proposing a Berlin-style wall along the southern U.S. border.

Jennifer Mitchell / MPBN

September means one thing for most kids in Maine: an end to summer holidays and the start of classes. But for some, the school year isn’t that straightforward, because their parents chase the seasons from Texas to Maine, harvesting vegetables, picking apples and raking blueberries.

Bobbie Gottschalk / Seeds of Peace

In the wake of this weekend’s murder of two imams in New York City, Muslims across the country are feeling the rise in tension.

Abukar Adan / MPBN

As Muslim Mainers respond to Donald Trump’s comments about their communities, let’s take a closer look.

Rifat Zaidi

As the nation’s attention shifts to the city of Cleveland and the Republican National Convention, the party’s presumptive nominee is adding some new detail to his call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.

In an interview on the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” Donald Trump says he would order what he calls “extreme vetting” of Muslims from territories with a history of terrorist activity.

This is the first in a series of profiles of Muslims who have made Maine their home.