Maine city allocates over $900K donations to asylum seekers


A Somali refugee looks over Portland from the tower of Portland’s city hall on August 29, 2018 in Portland, Maine. As part of Portland Adult Education’s summer immersion program, a group of refugees visited city hall while taking part in Portland’s Mariner summer immersion program. They have been visiting government offices, museums and taking field trips to communities around the state. The program is designed to help integrate new arrivals into Maine society while also increasing employability for refugees and asylum seekers, promoted in Portland by grants from New American Economy. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Portland City Council in Maine will allocate over $900,000 in private donations to the more than 400 asylum seekers that arrived this summer.

The council voted unanimously on Wednesday to accept the donations and put the money into the city’s Health and Human Services budget to use it for sheltering and basic needs for migrant families. They arrived primarily from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

The Portland Press Herald reports the city was informed in June by Texas officials that large groups of African migrant families had crossed the U.S. southern border and were headed to Portland.

City Manager Jon Jennings had declared an emergency and opened a shelter at the Portland Expo.

From June to August, nearly 450 migrants have checked into the Expo.

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