Portland, ME – On behalf of the members of the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC), we congratulate Governor Janet Mills on her re-election. We are grateful for her support of Maine’s immigrant communities through policies including expansion of MaineCare access, lowering the costs of community college, allowing asylum seekers to receive General Assistance, and directly funding community-based organizations during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maine’s immigrants face a variety of complex and multifaceted challenges, and it is crucial for us to work together with various stakeholders to address these issues comprehensively. MIRC is eager to continue working with the Mills administration on issues that impact immigrant lives, such as housing (both short-term and permanent), healthcare access, legal representation, food distribution, and transportation. Through this collaboration, we can develop permanent and dedicated infrastructure that will effectively facilitate immigrant resettlement and integration services.

The diversity of languages and nationalities of Maine’s immigrants highlights the need for tailored support. In order to tackle issues of racism and disparate treatment, we must advocate for policies that promote inclusivity and equality. This includes implementing programs that protect and uplift new asylum seekers, Latinx Mainers, Indigenous communities, Black and African-American Mainers, and other underserved populations.

We are committed to working closely with our MIRC collaboratives, Maine’s Congressional delegation, and municipalities to enact systemic changes and reach the following goals:

  1. Identify strategic locations to meet the needs of newly arrived individuals and families including shelter, food, and urgent medical care, especially for pregnant women, babies, and unaccompanied minors.

  2. Coordinate housing and wrap-around services.

  3. Identify and distribute additional state and federal funding.

  4. Reform and unify General Assistance and ensure resources are being effectively distributed and used across municipalities.

  5. Identify a central location to gather resettlement information and data on new arrivals.

As we move forward, we extend our best wishes to former Governor Paul LePage and his staff. We appreciate his advocacy for lowering the wait time required for asylum seekers to obtain work authorization, and we hope that he will continue to use his influential voice to champion this cause on a national level.

MIRC brings together more than 103 organizations committed to improving the legal, social, and economic conditions for immigrants in the state of Maine. Our member organizations, largely led by people of color, work together to foster immigrant inclusion and immigration through support programs and policies. We look forward to actively prioritizing the voices and perspectives of our community as we acknowledge and overcome systemic disadvantages. 


MIRC –  Statement on Gov. Mills’ Re-Election

By: Mufalo Chitam, Executive Director