Asylum Application Resource Center: Partners Make a Real Difference
An account of the Asylum Application Resource Center (AARC), a pilot program created in August by Hope Acts and Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition at the Portland Public Library that helps asylum seekers submit their applications to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. The number of asylum seekers arriving in Maine outstrips the number of immigration attorneys in the state; AARC hopes to bridge this gap by providing volunteers who can help with translation and computer literacy. Hope Acts Executive Director Martha Stein realizes the resource center has limitations, as it is not staffed by lawyers and they cannot provide legal aid.The program was conceived by Serge Asumani, himself originally an immigrant from DR Congo, now a Hope Acts staff member. The article discusses how the program is funded, the threat of "bad actors" or non-lawyers who offer to help in exchange for a fee, and what the plans are for the future.
Harp, Stephanie, "Asylum Application Resource Center: Partners Make a Real Difference" (2022). Maine News Index – Amjambo Africa!. 22.