Welcoming newcomers to Maine isn’t only a social good. It’s solid economic policy. Notwithstanding the inaccuracies that are a blight on reasoned discussions about immigration reform, newcomers today come to Maine to work and contribute—just like my immigrant forebearers, and probably yours, did.
Look at the numbers, and it becomes clear that Maine can’t afford to alienate a willing and available influx of workers, taxpayers, voters, students, and entrepreneurs. Against that background, long delays in immigration case processing cost all of us too much in time, money and human capital. The Maine Community Law Center has launched an immigration practice to help clear the backlog.
Want to help? There are many ways you can give a hand to get new Mainers up and running:
Become an American friend to a newcomer.
Leverage your bilingual abilities as a translator.
If you need legal help, talk to a qualified attorney, never a “notario.”
If you are an attorney, give your pro bono hours to an asylum applicant.
Say, “Welcome, neighbor!” to a new Mainer. The benefits may surprise you!