Founded by Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in 2005 and was initially fiscally sponsored by Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC), the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, also known as MIRC, grew in size and power from 20 members to 85 members located throughout the state. What began as a small, informal yet vibrant coalition in 2005 transitioned into today’s full-fledged, independent 501c3 , immigrant-led non-profit organization.
The Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) is the convener of a unique, statewide network of 85 organizations, a majority of which are led by people of color – representing diverse ethnic communities across our state. All coalition member organizations are working to create and support programs and policies that promote immigrant inclusion and integration. MIRC represents member organizations that include immigrant constituency groups, advocacy groups, direct service organizations and grassroots community organizations.
About Immigrants in Maine
MIRC’s core constituency includes an estimated 87,217 immigrants and refugees, including asylum seekers, undocumented people, and their native children from diverse countries who are living throughout Maine. Maine’s population grew by 2.6 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to US Census 2020 Maine profile. MIRC operates statewide, with activities concentrated in the Cumberland, Androscoggin, York, Kennebec, and Washington counties.
As the number of immigrants and refugees in Maine continues to grow, it has become increasingly more important to understand the needs and priorities of immigrants and how to ensure their inclusion and integration into day-to-day life. Policies that create opportunities for well-being and prosperity are needed in Maine, and without organizations like MIRC that have specific policy platforms and work toward them each day, these policies will not come to be.
There is also a dire need to educate lawmakers and the general public about the many ways in which immigrants enrich communities and contribute to economic prosperity. A selection of data points from the American Immigration Council appear below (2017):
- Immigrants make up 3% (44,694 individuals) of Maine’s total population;
- More than 2% of self-employed business owners in Maine are immigrants, and these businesses generate $48,000,000 in annual revenue.
- More than 9 out of 10 (91.8%) immigrants in Maine speak English “well” or “very well.”
- Nearly 4% of workers in Maine’s labor force are immigrants.
- According to 2016 data from New American Economy, there were 24,277 immigrants living in metro Portland, alone – a 3.9% increase from 2011.
Board of Directors
Hermeet K. Kohli
USM College of Management & Human Services
Catholic Charities Maine Refugee & Immigration Services
Islamic Center - Maine
Deborah P. Ibonwa, Esquire
Maine Equal Justice
Congregation Bet Ha'am
The Real Estate Store
Advisory Members and Contracted Staff
Want to get in touch with MIRC?
We’re happy to answer your questions or comments. Fill out our contact form with your name, email, and message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
1 Marginal Way, FL 2
Portland, ME 04101
9am -5pm Monday – Friday
© 2022 Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition