This bill would restore access to the state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and MaineCare for low-income immigrants who are lawfully present in the U.S. and for those who are pursuing lawful status.
If we want our state to grow and prosper, our communities must be welcoming to new Mainers, wherever they may come from. Legally, immigrants seeking asylum must submit paperwork and secure asylee status before they are authorized to work, a process that can take years and keeps many immigrant families in precarious economic situations. In 2011, the LePage administration changed Maine law to bar many immigrants from using basic anti-poverty supports, including accessing MaineCare, food assistance and help with basic needs for children. It was one of the most direct examples of systemic racism by the LePage administration targeting immigrants of color.
The bill died after the legislature adjourned for the session without taking action on the bill.