ILAP Statement on Newly Arrived Families Seeking Asylum

In the last week, Portland has welcomed dozens of families from Central Africa who are fleeing persecution and seeking safety in Maine. It is heartwarming to see the City and people of Portland coming together to assist these newly arrived families. We recognize that they bring opportunity to our state, and that we have a humanitarian duty to provide any and all support that we can to those seeking safety and protection.

The current administration has incessantly attacked the asylum process over the last two years. Families seeking asylum not only have to cope with the trauma and violence they are fleeing, but also cruel, constantly changing policies from the administration, such as separating parents and children, denying domestic violence survivors the avenue of asylum, and forcing families to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed in the United States. We must continue to urge Congress to restore justice and fairness to our asylum system.

ILAP will soon be giving asylum presentations to the newly arrived families and we have enlisted the generous help of many Maine immigration attorneys to answer legal questions. We are also planning a community-wide presentation later this month to answer questions about asylum policy and the asylum process. We will post updates about these events here on our website, as well as on our Facebook page at

Because ILAP is a small nonprofit and does not receive federal funding, we will be relying upon the community to continue to support our efforts to best serve these individuals seeking asylum.

If you have questions about ILAP’s work, please call Julia Brown, Advocacy and Outreach Attorney, at 207-699-4416.