Maine has approved a new “Office of New Americans” in their state government to support Maine’s growing immigrant population and the communities that they are implanted into.
Rep. Deqa Dhalac, D-South Portland, who is from Somalia and the bill’s sponsor, claimed the bill will have great economic benefit by helping solve the issue of an aging population and workforce shortages.
“Those of us who have made the decision to leave our home countries to make Maine our new home, either by force or of our own choice, have always had a deep desire to work and be part of a community,” she said. “We came to this country, to Maine, with the hope of helping our neighbors, supporting our families and creating a meaningful life here.”
Other state representatives do not agree.
“You simply cannot have an open border and generous welfare state,” said Rep. Mike Soboleski, R-Phillips. “It will eventually collapse the system. Maine taxpayers are already overtaxed and struggling to make ends meet with day to day costs exploded by inflation and overspending in Washington, D.C. Our people do not deserve and cannot bear the burden of supporting an additional 75,000 people in this state.”
“We need to take care of our people first,” he said.
When questioned why they don’t use those resources to help our veterans whose needs have been ignored, Dhalac said the illegals deserve priority over veterans because many do not speak English.
“They have the advantage of speaking the language [English] -most of our military folks. So this folks that we really working on may not have that, so it’s going to be really difficult,” she said.
In late June of last year, the Maine House of Representatives voted 78-61 to allow income-eligible noncitizens to receive health coverage under the state’s Medicaid program.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the bill potentially increased the cost to taxpayers by $17 million.
“This bill increases taxes for our residents and citizens of this state by $17 million,” Rep. Kathy Javner, R-Chester, said at the time. “I really encourage everybody in this room to think about your elderly neighbors. (Think) about those young families that are really being taxed astronomically, and their budgets are getting smaller, smaller and smaller.”
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