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“We’ve had a group of approximately 250 in Africa enter between the ports of entry they were encountered by the border patrol. They were processed after making an asylum claim and they chose to come up to Portland, Maine,” said Patrol Chief Jason Owens.

Officials said many chose Portland because they have friends or family already there or because they heard Portland was a welcoming place.

Also in that meeting, Portland city leaders said more than $200,000 in donations has been collected for asylum seekers in the city and continues to grow.

During a meeting at the Merrill Rehearsal Hall with other state leaders, Gov. Janet Mills committed state aid and resources, but a specific number was not decided for funding. USA, LLC

City officials said Thursday there are 170 asylum-seekers in Portland and more are expected to arrive from San Antonio.

They are currently being cared for at an emergency shelter set up at the Portland Expo.

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