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Strimling calls for more illegal immigrants to Portland in response to President Trump’s tweets

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling speaks at an event. Photo courtesy official Mayor Ethan Strimling Facebook page.

AUGUSTA – Multiple news outlets are reporting that Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling has said Portland, Maine is a sanctuary city and that he wants President Trump to send illegal immigrants there.

Strimling’s statement is in response to tweets from the President saying he is considering sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities only if Democrats refuse to change immigration laws to allow deportation.

Last year the Portland Press Herald reported that the city has gone so far as to forego federal grant money for the Portland Police Department because they will not comply with federal regulations on drawing non-citizens to their city, setting up a local fund to attempt to provide suitable welfare benefits for those individuals instead.

Portland City Manager John Jennings has proposed capping the number of beds in Portland’s shelter according to Maine Public, and he has proposed scaling back a program that provides assistance to asylum seekers. The local fund for that program has exceeded the budgeted amount by 18% already.

On Twitter, Strimling borrowed the slogan Gov. Janet Mills placed on a highway sign as people enter Maine, saying, “If Trump wants to send more immigrants our way, I say, “Welcome Home!”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported a dramatic increase in the number of illegal border crossings in March of 2019, saying they had 103,492 total apprehensions and inadmissibles. That number was an increase from over 76,000 in February and more than double the amount from March of last year.

One of Strimling’s more controversial positions as Mayor has been his push to allow non-citizens to vote in Portland’s elections.

Read More: Strimling calls for non-citizen voting in Portland while highlighting Portland policies that went statewide

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