Several years ago a large contingent of Somali refugees originally resettled unhappily in Atlanta, GA headed to Lewiston, ME in hopes of finding a more hospitable community. I’m not going to re-hash what happened in Lewiston, I’ll let you use our search function (just type in ‘Lewiston’) to review that convoluted story.
Now Iraqis, originally resettled in Atlanta, are also moving to Maine. Hat tip: Mars
PORTLAND — Iraqi refugees continue to come to Maine’s largest city at a slowed but steady pace, rallying assistance from municipal and school agencies and many community volunteers.
The Iraqis are arriving with little more than the clothes they can carry. Most of them are relocating from Atlanta, having heard that Portland offers the security, good schools and friendliness they found lacking in the much larger Southern city.
They are among nearly 20,000 Iraqi refugees who have been admitted to the United States since 2007, fleeing the war that has pummeled their country for six years. More than 2 million Iraqis are living as refugees in Syria, Jordan and other countries, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
A total of 24 Iraqi families – 111 individuals – have arrived in Portland since late October, the bulk of them coming in November and December, said Robert Duranleau, the city’s social services administrator.
An additional 200 to 300 Iraqi families are expected to move here from Georgia and possibly other states in the next several months, according to city and school officials. They are choosing to relocate as legal residents of this country, and have access to public services available to any disadvantaged person who lives in Portland.
Read the whole article in the Portland Press Herald to learn more about the social services available to refugees and immigrants in Maine. Despite the snow and cold, these Iraqis say they are happy.
Meanwhile, nearby Vermont is our 17th state where Iraqis say they are unhappy and have found few jobs. The 16 others are: Arizona, Maryland, New Hampshire,Virginia, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Idaho, Connecticut, New Mexico, California, Utah, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. See our Iraqi refugee category for all these stories and more.