AUGUSTA – Portland
Mayor Ethan Strimling may have been the Maine politician getting most of the
headlines for telling President Donald Trump to “bring them on” when calling
for more non-citizens to be sent to Portland, but Governor Janet Mills signed a
letter in December affirming that Maine fully consents to continuing to
resettle refugees across the state.
dated December 16th and sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
boasts of Maine’s record of accepting people from more than thirty different countries
and says Maine has accepted individuals from more than thirty different
countries over a forty-year span.
Maine’s “workforce shortage” which she says is “projected to grow worse over
the next decade” as a reason for the resettlement.
“It is the
right thing to do, and it is critical to the strength of our economy and our
future success as a state,” says Governor Mills in the letter.
In 2019 Portland, Maine’s largest city, was overwhelmed with immigrants from the southern border. While some had entered the United States legally, immigration officials said many had not. The influx of hundreds of non-citizens strained city resources and blew the city’s local non-citizen welfare budget in months.
Governor Mills used the emergency powers of her office to implement a rule
change to provide state funded welfare benefits to non-citizens, essentially
bailing out Strimling and Portland.
that, Governor Janet Mills signed the letter calling for refugee resettlement
program to continue in Maine. The letter is a response to President Donald
Trump’s executive order 13888, which requires that states and local governments
provide written consent authorizing the initial resettlement of refugees into
their respective communities.
of the states is being tracked by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Governor Janet Mills copied Catholic Charities Maine Refugee and Immigration
Services on her letter to Secretary Pompeo.
both parties across the nation have signed on to continue in the refugee
A review of Governor Mills’ website’s official archive of statements and documents from December found no official public statement or public notice about the letter when it was sent to Secretary Pompeo.