Immigration

State lawmakers are considering two measures that would change – in very different ways – how Maine law enforcement works with federal immigration agencies. Both bills are facing opposition from police and sheriff’s organizations.

AP Photo

The Trump administration is considering proposing new rules that critics say will punish legal immigrants in the United States who are seeking permanent residency.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

A Honduran woman and her 10-year-old daughter who were detained at the border last month are now in Portland. 

Maine Arts Commission

A student at Portland's Deering High School has filed a lawsuit against the National Endowment for the Arts over its decision to ban him from competing in a national poetry competition because of his status as an asylum seeker.

Deering High School Junior Allan Monga recited three poems in last month's state Poetry Out Loud competition. This one, "The Song of the Smoke" first published by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1907, is an affirmation of black pride.

sherryvsmith / AP Photo

President Trump's proclamation directing the deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border has prompted pushback from some members of Maine's congressional delegation. These representatives want to know more about how many troops would be called and for how long.

Maine Senator Susan Collins says the common-sense coalition of senators that she organized has made progress drafting a measure that will be a compromise on immigration reform.

Senator Collins says a bipartisan group of 25 senators has gone through five drafts of legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.

“The most important provisions of that bill are the path to citizenship for the dreamers, who are brought to this country through no decision of their own by their parents,” says Collins.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Dozens of people came together Saturday in support of a Haitian man from Waterville who was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month. Simultaneously, the supporters got out their phones and left messages for members of Maine's congressional delegation, asking for their help.

Mindy Saint Martin

A Waterville family is asking Gov. Paul LePage and members of Maine's congressional delegation to intervene on behalf of a Haitian man who was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this month for reasons that are not clear. The man, Lexius Saint Martin, is now being held at a New Hampshire jail awaiting deportation.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 5 at 10:00 pm
Sat., April 7 at 11:00 am

This film explores the finer points of extremism and patriotism, as 22 interviewees from the North Atlantic Coastline share their thoughts on immigration in 2017 America.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is urging local sheriffs and chiefs of police to resist pressure from the Trump administration to participate in immigration enforcement. And the ACLU is warning law enforcement that if they do participate, they’ll face legal liability.

Under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, local towns and cities are expected to provide direct support to U.S. immigration policy. If they don’t, the order threatens to strip them of federal grant funding.

Volunteer lawyers in Boston are standing by Monday in anticipation of the impact of President Donald Trump's revised executive order halting travel for immigrants from six Muslim-majority nations. The president's existing order was put on hold by federal courts. The new order was signed on Monday, and goes into effect on March 16.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s controversial order to ban travel from seven Muslim majority countries has sparked protests in Maine and across the country. But Trump’s ban hasn’t diminished his support among some voters in Lewiston, A Historically Democratic stronghold that has become a resettlement area for Somali immigrants.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public/file

Lewiston Mayor Robert MacDonald met with Gov. Paul LePage Friday morning to alert him to what he says is a growing problem: too many asylum seekers. Figures show that over the past three years the number has more than doubled in Lewiston. The city gets help from the state, but the mayor says it’s not enough.

More than 1,500 people gathered at the Portland International Jetport Sunday afternoon, joining pop-up protests at airports and on public squares around the country designed to show support for refugees in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive order.

Last year, Maine passed a law designed to ensure that Maine residents who are seeking asylum in the U.S. have access to state welfare benefits. The LePage administration opposed the measure, and has now implemented the law in a way that some advocacy groups say misses the mark, unfairly excluding dozens of immigrants.

Earlier this year in Freeport, at one in his series of town meetings, LePage tried to make a case against one group of immigrants.

“Asylum seekers, I think the biggest problem in our state and I’ll explain that if you would like,” LePage said.

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