Our Story

Founded by the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in 2005 and initially sponsored by Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC), the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) has grown into a full-fledged non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of legal, social, and economic outcomes for immigrants in the state of Maine. What began as a small but mighty coalition of 20 members is now a unique and diverse network of over 100 organizations with the same goal: to foster immigrant inclusion and integration through both support programs and policies. 

Member organizations, a majority of which are led by people of color, work hand in hand with each other as well as local and state legislature to represent diverse ethnic communities across our state. Policy reform, information sharing,  collaboration with partners, community outreach, and education are just a few of the ways in which we strive to strengthen Maine and combat the most pressing issues facing our immigrant population. MIRC based in Portland operates statewide, with activities concentrated in Cumberland, Androscoggin, York, Kennebec, and Washington counties. The specific cities where there are concentrated services are: Greater Portland, Lewiston, Auburn, Bath, Brunswick, Freeport Augusta, Bangor, Milbridge,  Old Orchard Beach, Biddeford, Saco, and Sanford.

Membership is open to organizations that share our mission, and we encourage you to apply at the link below! 

To learn more about MIRC please view a copy of MIRC’s reports
 IRS Form 990 
*2017 *2018 *2019 *2020 *2021 2022

About Immigrants in Maine

MIRC works to support an estimated 87,217 immigrants and refugees in our state, including asylum seekers, undocumented persons, and American-born children of immigrants. Maine’s population grew by 2.6 percent from 2010 to 2020 according to the 2020 US Census Maine Profile, which includes growth among the immigrant population. 

With this growth, it is essential to understand the needs and priorities of Maine’s immigrant population. MIRC aims to educate lawmakers and the general public about the many ways in which immigrants enrich communities and contribute to economic prosperity, which will lead to greater inclusion and integration through specific policy platforms and outreach opportunities. 

Here are some statistics about Maine’s Immigrant Population and Housing Crisis:

  • 47,418 immigrants comprised 4 percent of the total population of Maine in 2018
  • 2, 368 immigrant business owners accounted for 2 percent of all self-employed Maine residents in 2018, generating $15.3 million in business income.  
  • Nine in ten (90 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well” 
  • 28,129 immigrant workers comprised 4 percent of Maine’s labor force in 2018
  • According to 2016 data from New American Economy, there were 24,277 immigrants living in the Portland Metro Area alone, a 3.9 percent increase from 2011. 
  • Between 2020 and 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau reports a total migration of 3,595 immigrants into Maine*
  • Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows Maine lacks more than 22,000 housing units that are affordable for the lowest-income people — those who make under $26,500 a year in a four-person household, which covers 30% of Maine renters, per the coalition.
  • According to the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition in Maine, there’s a 12,000-plus waitlist for housing vouchers to help support people’s rent. 

*This figure is an estimate; given the lack of an accurate system to account for the number of immigrants that enter Maine, it is impossible to formulate an exact number.

News

MIRC Services

MIRC Emergency Response Services   Immigrants arriving in our state face a number of challenges, from housing and healthcare to transportation and legal services. As

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When we strengthen our immigrant community, we strengthen Maine. Your generous donations help us make our state a place where we can all thrive.