AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Two women seeking asylum in Maine are asking to join a lawsuit against Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration regarding general assistance aid.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and Maine Equal Justice Partners said on Thursday that they have a complaint on behalf of the immigrants.
The lawsuit filed by the Maine Municipal Association and the cities of Portland and Westbrook last week challenges a Department of Health and Human Services directive that cities and towns stop providing the benefits to immigrants that can’t prove that they are living in the country legally.
The groups say that Rehma Rebecca Juma and Suavis Furaha left their home country, Burundi, to escape violence and persecution. The two have applied for asylum status, but haven’t been able to get work permits.