Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) released the following statement regarding the recent influx of asylum-seekers to Portland:
"Most of the migrants who have arrived in Portland these past few days have had long, harrowing journeys from conflict-torn countries. These families choose to leave their homes for a reason and are seeking refuge here for the opportunity of a better life. For them, Maine means hope.
"Portland has long been a welcoming city for immigrants and refugees. We should celebrate that and be supportive in any way possible. It has been heartening to see city leaders and community partners come together so quickly on behalf of these individuals, as they often have before.
"On the federal level, we need overarching, comprehensive immigration reform. I introduced a bill to allow asylum seekers to gain work and contribute to our local economy quickly, rather than wait 180 days under current law. The United States should be giving newcomers the opportunity to live a safe and fulfilling life."