Posted on January 16, 2024

Outrage over Democrat-Run Maine Town’s Luxury Digs for Migrants

James Reinl, Daily Mail, January 12, 2024

Social media users have reacted angrily to revelations that a town in Democrat-run Maine is lavishing millions of dollars on luxury apartments for asylum seekers, even as many US-born residents sleep rough.

Immigrants this week started moving in to 24 one- and two-bedroom apartments in an attractive, recently-finished three-story clapboard block on the edge of the leafy coastal town of Brunswick, about 30 miles north of Portland.

State officials said they were welcoming in hard-up newcomers, and one of the migrants to win a home said it was a ‘palace’ compared to the shelters and hotels she had been sleeping in.

But commentators quickly slammed the decision to spend a reported $3.5 million on 60 migrant families, when so many others struggle to pay rents or have to sleep rough in one of America’s chilliest states.

Central Maine is set to see snowfall, rain, and temperatures in the 20s in the coming days, as officials tear down the encampments of homeless people in and around Portland.

‘What a slap in the face of all Maine residents, and all American citizens in fact, especially the homeless,’ one posted on X/Twitter.

Another noted how Maine residents’ ‘taxes are now being used to pay the rent for illegal aliens.’

Others complained that migrants were being ‘put ahead of citizens’ by getting as much as two-year stints living for free in a ‘nice new building.’

Others still suggested that Maine residents should ‘quit paying taxes’ or voting for the Democratic politicians who greenlighted the scheme.

Maine has seen a surge in its number of homeless residents since 2021 and currently has more than 4,000 unhoused people, mostly in and around Portland.

A little over 3,000 of them sleep in shelters.

Residents also pay some of the highest taxes in America. Maine has the costliest property levies in the nation, and only residents of New York and Hawaii pay more tax on the dollar overall, according to WalletHub.

State officials greenlighted the project amid a surge in migrants crossing the US-Mexico border and making claims for asylum.

Migrants started being housed in the first 24 apartments this week, and dozens more units are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Competition for the apartments was fierce, and the application list was capped at 250.

Esther, an asylum seeker from Nigeria who was awarded a home, said it felt like a ‘palace’ compared to her previous digs.

‘In [a] hotel, there are rules and regulations,’ Esther told local reporters.

‘In a shelter, too, we have so many people. We share the kitchen together. We share the restroom together.’

Maine State Housing Authority budgeted nearly $3.5 million to cover the rents of 60 migrant families in five buildings in Brunswick for two years.

They are expected to eventually get permission to work and start earning to pay their own way.

The state is also allocating $100,000 to help dozens of Brunswick migrants process their asylum applications and secure work permits.

A bus service is in the works to help the migrants get into town.

America’s southern border has seen ever greater numbers of migrants cross the frontier and ask for asylum since Biden took office in January 2021.

There were more than 10,000 arrests for illegal crossing per day over several days in December alone.

The trend is fueled by ever more people fleeing political chaos in Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Though many traverse the frontier at an irregular spot, asylum claims are a legal process.

Many are allowed into the country for a years-long wait as officials assess claims that they had suffered serious human rights violations elsewhere.

In cities including Chicago, New York and Denver, migrants who have no access to work permits sleep in police station foyers and in airports.

Though they can be unpopular in some quarters, studies have shown that asylum seekers and migrants are more entrepreneurial and hardworking than US-born populations.

These scenes dominate the early phase of the 2024 presidential campaign, with Republicans slamming President Joe Biden and weighing whether to impeach his Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Republicans want Biden to back more restrictive policies that would dramatically reduce asylum protections, among other things, and they believe they have leverage if the president wants them to authorize tens of billions in aid to Ukraine.

Americans are increasingly alarmed by people flows across the US-Mexico border, with record numbers now saying the influx of asylum seekers is a ‘crisis’ or a major problem, a new poll shows.

A recent CBS News survey found that a staggering 93 percent of respondents said the frontier was in a ‘crisis’ or that border guards faced a ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious’ issue of undocumented arrivals.

Only 7 percent of the 2,157 people surveyed said it was ‘not much of a problem.’

The share of Americans who call it a crisis has shot up from 38 percent last May to 45 percent currently.