Somali Muslim Migrants Protest Welfare Reform in Maine

Maine’s Somali Muslim settler problem is growing worse with gang violence and welfare abuse threatening the state. Governor LePage’s efforts to make Maine’s generous benefits system less attractive to Somali Muslim migrants who have swarmed the state seeking taxpayer handouts has led to protests from those same Somali Muslims.

Immigration advocates and migrants to Maine rallied at the State House Friday against a proposal that would prohibit hundreds of asylum seekers and some other immigrants from receiving General Assistance while waiting for their work permits.

Advocates estimate that as many as 1,000 immigrants who are seeking asylum in Maine would lose access to General Assistance.

In fiscal year 2012, Maine communities provided a total of $17.5 million in General Assistance, $13.2 million of which came from the state budget, according to the DHHS. Portland provided $9.6 million in General Assistance to 4,376 individuals and families in the last fiscal year, with 90 percent of that money spent on food and shelter, according to the city.

Of the total spent, $2.4 million came from property taxpayers and $7.2 million came from the state.

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