Maine Overwhelmed by Asylum Seekers

Every state is now a border state.

The alien invasion across America’s porous southern border has turned every state into a border state – and every Fake News editor into an agent and a cheerleader for a foreign occupation army.

Here in Maine, 2400 miles northeast of the Texas border, we are the final destination for thousands of illegal immigrants who are being resettled here at taxpayer expense, to the applause of all the really smart people in both political parties.

When I attempted a few weeks ago to push back against a fellow Republican’s praise for the invasion and the invaders, I was confronted once again by the cowardice and ignorance that are the rule rather than the exception in Maine’s lamestream newsrooms.

My dealings with the imbeciles who work in these propaganda mills often remind me of the cheering that erupts at Trump rallies when The Donald derides the Fake News media as the enemies of the American people.

Trump’s characterization fits the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine, and its editorial page editor Ben Bragdon, to a tee. In fact, Ben’s loathing for his native country is so deep-seated he’s convinced himself that the burst of inflation we’re experiencing is the result of TOO FEW immigrants coming to America.

Bragdon flat-out refused to publish my op-ed about the alien invasion, and falsely accused me of making many previous “bigoted and untruthful remarks about immigrants.”

To top it off, the lame excuse he invoked for banning me from the op-ed page was a political cartoon created by my brother John Lockman that I published at my website.

I’ll let you be the judge, dear reader. Here’s the cartoon [on the left], and here’s the op-ed below that Maine’s very Fake News media don’t have the balls to publish:

Expedited work permits for asylum seekers won’t fix immigration crisis

At the risk of being instantly labeled a hard-hearted xenophobe, I have to dissent from the chorus of voices calling for a relaxation of the work rules that govern the many hundreds of asylum seekers who have settled in Maine during the past few years.

With all due respect to Shawn Moody for his entrepreneurial spirit and decades-long record as a job creator, his March 31st op-ed column touting more federal legislation as a possible solution to Maine’s workforce shortage not only misses the mark, it muddies the water.

Maine certainly has a workforce problem, but it pales in comparison to Maine’s immigration crisis.

And make no mistake, it is a crisis.

It was three years ago this summer 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.

Moody supports legislation introduced by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King that would make asylum seekers eligible for work permits starting 30 days after filing their asylum claims.

As Sen. Collins noted: “Under current law, asylum seekers must wait extended periods of time after filing their applications before they are allowed to apply for work permits. These long waiting periods were originally adopted by the Clinton administration – and then extended to a full year by the Trump administration – out of concern that some migrants might apply for asylum primarily as a means of getting a work authorization.”

Exactly.

Asylee status was never intended as a fast track to getting a job in the United States while your application is pending. Statistics from the US Department of Justice indicate that out of every 100 aliens who claimed a credible fear of persecution between 2008 and 2019, only 14 were granted asylum.

Given that history, the waiting period for work permits made perfect sense under the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. And it makes even more sense today under the Biden administration, with tens of thousands of non-citizens entering the country every month across America’s wide-open southern border.

Moody, to his credit, wants to match the newcomers to available jobs and job-training. But even if large numbers of the so-called “new Mainers” went to work tomorrow for good wages, where are they going to live?

Maine currently has 25,000 households on its joint Section 8 waitlist for subsidized housing that covers most of the state. Many of these families wait years for needed assistance. In addition, more than 11,000 seniors are on Avesta Housing’s waitlist for senior housing projects across the state.

Anyone who’s paying attention knows that Maine has a monumental shortage of affordable housing. So why would we want to encourage poor people who aren’t citizens – and most likely entered the country illegally – to settle here by making it easier for them to take entry-level jobs?

And what happens if, after several years, their pending asylum applications are among the 86% that are not granted? Even if a mere 50% of them turn out to be ineligible for asylee status, does anyone seriously believe they will voluntarily self-deport?

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.

Mainers have no legal or moral obligation to facilitate the invasion across our southern border. So let’s not pretend that we do.

Lawrence Lockman served four terms (2012-2020) in the Maine House of Representatives. He is Co-founder & President of the conservative non-profit and school of political warfare, Maine First Project. He may be reached at larrylockman22@gmail.com.

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