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Portland creates emergency shelter for asylum seekers

June 12, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s largest city will repurpose a basketball arena as an emergency shelter in anticipation of hundreds of asylum seekers who are headed to the state from the U.S.’s southern border.

About 100 asylum seekers have arrived in Portland since Sunday. City Manager Jon Jennings says another 150 are expected in the coming week, and many more could follow. Most are arriving from Congo and Angola.

Jennings says cots will be set up at Portland Expo, the home of the Maine Red Claws. Meals will also be made available. He said the city officials are working with the Red Cross and the state to staff the shelter.

Jennings said he’s been told by the city manager in San Antonio that there are currently between 1,500 and 2,000 African migrants seeking border asylum.

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