Portland, Maine to raise property taxes to pay for free housing for 'asylum-seekers'

Illegal aliens are known to cost U.S. citizens billions to support, but rarely is that experienced as directly as it is now in Portland, Maine, where city officials voted to raise property taxes in order to house 1,200 "asylum-seekers," along with 500 homeless.

According to WGME:

PORTLAND (WGME) — Portland property taxes will soon be going up by 4.8 percent.

Last year, families with a $400,000 home paid about $5,200 in property taxes.

With this new increase, it'll be around $5,550 for that same home.

That's an increase of about $350.

Portland's finance director says without federal help, it will cost the city $9 million to house hundreds of asylum seekers and people experiencing homelessness.

To pay that $9 million, he says the city council would have to raise property taxes by 4.8 percent, which is exactly what they did Monday night.

That's right: the taxpayers will pay.  Since this is solid-blue Portland, all one can think is, you get what you vote for.  That said, even the bluest of blue cities has many people who didn't.

What's astonishing here is the logic of the argument — the feds dumped these illegals in Portland, or else dumped their relatives here, but apparently has no intention to pay for them — and Portland itself is too feckless to demand it, so Portland is paying.

But the bigger argument is, why aren't the illegals being asked to pay?

The migrants who have come in to Portland to take a stake in the "free" housing have paid tens of thousands of dollars to human-smuggling syndicates to transport them from their homelands to the U.S.  Since most of the migrants hail from Africa, that means considerable sums have been spent, upwards of five figures, crossing multiple borders, which is against standard understanding of asylum, which is for first country of refuge.

Shouldn't people who can afford to shell out cash to criminal syndicates be reasonably required to pay for their own housing?  Whatever happened to the "public charge" law that requires migrants who cannot support themselves to be turned back?

The other potential solution is to require relatives to take them in.  Since most of the African migrants are coming to Portland to be with family and relatives (it sure as heck isn't the climate), it's a pretty reasonable guess that most or all of them have family who should be contacted and required to take them in.

Any of these approaches would make more sense than simply taxing locals up the wazoo to pay for the free ride of more than a thousand illegal aliens who have managed to utter the magic word "asylum" as their basis for breaking into the country and staying.  The idea that they are entitled to free housing is nothing short of outrageous, but over in Portland, all we hear are murmurs about the cost of living.  

Yes, residents get what they vote for.  But perhaps this bad news about property taxes will serve as a wakeup call to them that illegal immigration is not a cost-free crime.  This time, it hits Portland's residents up close and personal.

Image: Douglas Muth via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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