Asylum seekers are flooding Portland, Maine — and the city “brought” these problems “on itself” as the people “are going to be left to pick up the pieces,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham warned Wednesday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”
The debate about immigration, asylum and public assistance is raging throughout Portland.
Ingraham and former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) reacted to a report in The Wall Street Journal published on Sunday, “Maine’s Largest City Strains Under Asylum-Seeker Influx.”
Those seeking asylum from predominantly African nations now make up 90 percent of the city’s family shelter and overflow shelter, the piece noted.
Portland’s funds are also “dwindling fast” and lawyers “are overwhelmed with cases,” according to the report.
Roughly 65 to 70 percent of people with government assistance in Maine are asylum seekers. And more than 75 percent of Portland’s population growth occurred among foreign-born residents from 2011-2016, according to WSJ.
Gov. Janet Mills (D) took over from LePage this month and Democrats now control the state legislature.
“I don’t think that the Left … realizes what sort of an impact their insane policies are having on the real, middle-class, working Americans,” Ingraham said. “This is the Democrat Party, though.”
“This is happening all across New England,” she added. “But Portland brought it on itself, and people are going to be left to pick up the pieces.”
LePage said this mass overflow into the city-run shelters has brought severe consequences on Mainers.
“What it really does — it takes away from the disabled, the elderly, people with intellectual disabilities. They’re pushed aside. They’re put on waiting lists, and the money goes to asylum seekers and undocumented citizens that — people that come to the state of Maine,” LePage said. “And that’s been going on for years.”
He said he sought to address these issues as governor.
His government also budgeted, removed the wait lists — and paid for the assistance.
But then “the Democrats came in, took the money and put the people back on a wait list,” LePage said. “And they’re still there now, on a wait list. People who’ve lived their lives in Maine [are] now without services in their aging years or with their disabilities.”
The former governor pointed to Mills’ decision to welcome more asylum seekers to Maine and to provide them with services, despite the crisis.
“And well, if you invite, they will come,” LePage said.
The former governor offered advice to other states and cities considering whether to welcome more asylum seekers.
“I would say that if you have the resources and you feel compassionate for these folks, go ahead and do it,” LePage said. “But if you’re going to be taking resources — very, very important resources — for your citizens, then you are making a big mistake.”