Pushing veterans aside to hire ‘new Americans’

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New York, Illinois, and California are among the states most closely associated with embracing illegal border crossers and assorted other asylum seekers. But perhaps because the state is smaller than the major destinations and somewhat off the beaten media path, Maine’s over-the-top illegal alien red-carpet layout is less well-publicized.

Maine Governor Janet Mills ranks on a par with other Democratic governors, including New York’s Kathy Hochel, Illinois’ JB Pritzker, and California’s Gavin Newsom, as overt illegal alien coddlers.

Maine is normally considered a vacationer’s paradise. In the winter, visitors can snowmobile in Aroostook County, a vast landscape larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. Come summertime, 3,500 miles of tidal shoreline attracts sailors, sea kayakers and windjammers.

Despite its scenic appeal to visitors, residents must endure Maine’s hardcore migrant outreach, and the pocketbook-busting fees associated with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants.

During Mills’ tenure, Maine’s large southern municipalities have struggled to house thousands of migrants, mostly from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti. COVID-19 brought federal money that the state used to house migrants at hotels, motels, and shelters. The federal funds bonanza has dried up, and the state is on the hook for the ever-increasing cost of providing food and shelter to the mostly homeless migrants. The fortunate are living inside the Portland Exposition Building, originally designated as a sports and exhibition venue. Most of the migrants speak limited English, have little money, and had no living arrangements when they arrived in Maine. They are heavily dependent on taxpayer-funded resources for charity.

In May, 2022, Maine’s growing migrant overflow prompted Kristen Dow, then-Portland’s Health and Human Services director, to send an ominous e-mail to Customs and Border Protection, FEMA, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, Portland’s city council and mayor, and its so-called community partners warning there was no further shelter or hotel capacity in Portland.

In a predictable immigration-expansionist response to a migrant-overwhelmed state, Mills proposed to add 75,000 more illegal aliens by 2029, and in the process, throw citizens further under the bus. The vehicle that Mills will rely on to provide for the unlawfully present aliens is her newly developed Office of New Americans, created through the governor’s executive order. Mills’ plan would work toward “making Maine a home of opportunity for all, by welcoming and supporting immigrants to strengthen Maine’s workforce, enhance the vibrancy of Maine’s communities, and build a strong and inclusive economy.”

The illegal aliens would be called “New Mainers.”

Mills and Maine’s immigration lobby have come up with what they view as the perfect solution – new, free housing. As local news station WCSH-TV reported, Brunswick will open 60 new migrant apartments, with 24 of the units already completed. The units, built at a $13 million cost and which residents disparagingly refer to as the ‘Taj Mahal’ are specifically designed for migrants awaiting their work permits, a process that can take more than a year.

The taxpayer funded Maine State Housing Authority leads the apartment project and has put into place a unique rental schedule. The state – taxpayers, in other words – will help pay for migrants’ rent using state legislature-approved funds. Taxpayers will be on the hook for two years, but migrants will need to pay 30 percent of their rent once they find a job that earns at least $30,000, half the average $60,000 local annual income. Such a rental structure is a strong inducement to never look for a job. Living rent-free is so much better. And while a migrants’ lease may expire after two years, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll vacate. Nationwide, squatters’ rights are all the rage.

In this era of illegal aliens first, Americans last, no audacity is too outrageous. State Rep. Deqa Dhalac, the bill’s primary sponsor and the first Somali-born mayor in the United States, defended the fact “new Americans” would receive priority in job searches over military veterans because, in her words, vets “have the advantage of speaking the language [English].” Punishing vets for speaking their native language in their home country is scraping the barrel’s bottom.

To Mills and other Democratic officials, establishing the Office of New Americans, building rent-free condos, and giving jobs away to illegally present foreign nationals at Americans’ expense is all normal governance, even though not a single supporting vote from the Pine Tree State’s citizens has been cast in favor of Maine’s radical policies.

Copyright 2024 Joe Guzzardi, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joe Guzzardi is a Project for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at [email protected].