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Become a Member
If you’d like your organization to become a member of MIRC, please fill out our member application form. MIRC’s Board of Directors looks over each application to determine whether organizations meets the membership criteria.
MIRC’s 2019 policy priorities, the top issues impacting immigrant communities, are:
- Workforce Development
- Expansion of Adult Education
- Reinstating Benefits: MAINECARE/GA/SNAP and TANF
- Credentialing /Licensing
- Child Care/Interpretation Needs
Policy Name: Final Public Charge Rule
Overview: The “Public Charge” test has been part of federal immigration law for decades. It is designed to identify people who may depend on government benefits as their main source of support. If the government determines someone is likely to become a “public charge,” the government can deny admission to the U.S. or refuse an application for lawful permanent residency.
Policy Name: Maine’s General Assistance Rule #22E – Access for Certain Non-Citizens
Overview: On June 18th Gov. Janet Mills announced she is relaxing restrictions on General Assistance eligibility to allow more asylum seekers to qualify for the welfare benefits, reversing a LePage administration policy in response to a recent surge in migrants.
Actions: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) published the new rules and you can find them here.
2019 Legislative Sessions
Bills that MIRC supported that were successful:
i. LD 1841: Working group to study/make recommendations to lower credentialing barriers
(this bill sprang from LD 532 & LD 769 which MIRC supported.)
ii. LD 1685: Revolving loan fund to pay for expenses directly related to helping those waiting for their initial work permits to be more work ready, such as translation and evaluation fees of education/experience credentials, TOEFL exam fees, driver’s license fee etc.
iii. LD 1596: Bill giving district courts jurisdiction over some 18,19, & 20 year old immigrant youth who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, to get special findings that will help them get permanent residency in the U.S.
iv. LD 1475: Bill requiring all law enforcement agencies to have policies prohibiting bias-based profiling, training officers, studying how to collect data to be able to understand the scope of the problem
v. LD 777: Establishing a Permanent Commission on the status of racial, indigenous and Tribal populations in Maine, including immigrants as part of focus.
Bills that MIRC opposed that were successfully defeated:
i. Bills to amend the constitution to prohibit noncitizen voting in local elections.
ii. Mandatory E-Verify for all employers in Maine
iii. Lockman’s bill to require state/local police to do immigration law enforcement – never brought to a vote on the floor.
Bills that MIRC supported that were carried over to next year:
i. LD 647: The bill that would have added funding for adult ESOL classes, for combined job skills/ESOL classes at worksites, for the NMRC and for a new Welcome Center in Lewiston, and planning grants for communities that want to attract and retain immigrants.