As we’ve posted previously, the administration has proposed delaying, and in many cases denying entirely, asylum seekers’ ability to get work permits and support themselves while their asylum applications are pending – a process that can take years.
The administration received 1000 comments during the public comment period which ended on January 13, 2020, the vast majority of which opposed the proposed rule.
Mainers were responsible for about 10% of all comments filed in opposition to the proposed rule, making an extremely strong showing, and demonstrating that Mainers clearly value asylum seekers as members of our communities and our workforce. Several MeBIC partners and allies were among those who commented to oppose the rule, as was MeBIC.
Governor Janet Mills, and Representative Chellie Pingree were among those who submitted comments opposing the rule. Representative Pingree’s comment was joined by forty-nine other Members of Congress. Both of these comments included citiations to MeBIC and the contributions that asylum seekers make to Maine’s workforce and economy.