Weak Border Control Strains Maine’s Social Safety Net

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With midterm elections just days away, we’re finally hearing some talk on the campaign trail about the impact of illegal immigration on Mainers. That discussion was prompted by remarks from Bruce Poliquin in his electoral re-match with Rep. Jared Golden for Maine’s 2nd District congressional seat.

During a televised debate last month, and in a recent TV interview, Poliquin relayed the story of a woman he met who told him she was living in her car with her cats. Poliquin encouraged her to contact the local housing authority, but she said she already had.

“I was at the top of the list to receive an apartment,” he said she told him. “I got bumped down the list because folks have come to this country illegally.”

Poliquin went on to call that “wrong” and cited that story to argue for increased border security.

Unfortunately, any hope that voters might benefit from an honest discussion of the immigration crisis in Maine was quickly dashed. Maine’s left-leaning media teamed up with open-borders advocates to ridicule the notion that any Mainer is being shoved aside to make way for throngs of foreign nationals arriving by bus in Portland from the wide-open southern border.

Bangor Daily News reporter Michael Shepherd wrote a misleading hit piece titled, “Housing authorities rebuke Bruce Poliquin for ‘misinformation’”, but it wasn’t very convincing.

With at least 13,000 Mainers on the Section 8 affordable housing waitlist, who does Shepherd think he’s fooling? Of course these newcomers are going to the head of the line.

It was just over three years ago when an estimated 500 foreign nationals, most of them from central Africa, crossed the southern border in Texas and boarded buses for Portland, where they were housed at the Portland Expo while state and local officials scrambled to find permanent housing for these asylum-seeking “new Mainers.”

Over the past year, another 1,000+ non-citizen newcomers have made their way from the southern border to Portland, overwhelming the city’s homeless shelters. Many are being housed at taxpayer expense in hotels across Cumberland and York Counties. One hotel in South Portland houses more than 400 non-citizens, half of them children, many of whom are now enrolled in local public schools.

Free housing and free education for non-citizens, while down-and-out Mainers sleep in their cars with their cats, waiting for their names to get to the top of the waitlists.

Under the Biden regime’s immigration rules, foreigners are now welcome to enter the country illegally by wading across the Rio Grande between ports of entry. But they’re not considered illegal immigrants as long as they surrender to a Border Patrol agent and recite the magic words: I have “a credible fear of persecution” in my native country.

Bingo! You are now “legally present” in the United States, while you await adjudication of your asylum claim.

And that process usually drags on for at least several years.

Here’s the dirty little secret that Mike Shepherd and his Fake News colleagues will never report, from the US Department of Justice:

Between 2008 and 2019 (the latest years for which we data), out of every 100 aliens who claimed a credible fear of persecution, only 14 were granted asylum.

Does anyone seriously believe those numbers have improved in the past three years?

So….

What happens if, after several years, the pending asylum applications of the “new Mainers” are among the 86% that haven’t been granted since 2008? Even if a mere 50% of them turn out to be ineligible for asylee status, does anyone seriously believe they will voluntarily self-deport?

Of course not! They’re here to stay at that point.

The inconvenient truth is that Maine people cannot afford to provide housing, health care, and education for wave after wave of non-citizen newcomers, whether they came here legally, or, as many have done, waded across the Rio Grande and filed a defensive asylum application before getting on a bus to Portland.

Enough of the biased reporting!

Let’s have a robust, fact-based debate on immigration policy in this election season.

Is that too much to ask of Maine’s lamestream media outlets?

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