The Maine Compact on Immigration is a bipartisan initiative by members of Maine’s business community and higher education institutions to promote immigration policies that will strengthen our economy and communities, attract and retain global talent, and bring new entrepreneurs, businesses and workers to our nation and state. The Compact’s principles reflect the signatories’ vision of commonsense and future-focused federal immigration reforms that reaffirm the country’s commitment to remaining a nation that welcomes immigrants, and that address the realities of our state’s and nation’s workforce needs and demographic challenges. These principles also affirm the signatories’ support for state and local policies and practices that recognize the myriad economic contributions immigrants make as volunteers, consumers, students, workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, and civically engaged citizens, strengthening Maine’s communities and economy.
We urge Maine’s congressional delegation and state leaders to adopt the principles of the Maine Compact on Immigration to guide the immigration discussion in our state. Furthermore, we encourage state and local leaders to follow suit with policies, practices and programs that create welcoming communities in Maine.
Maine Compact on Immigration Principles:
Immigration policy is a federal issue with profound impact on states and the economy. We urge Maine’s congressional delegation to lead aggressive efforts to enact immigration reforms that update and vastly improve our nation’s outdated immigration system, protect our borders while preserving due process and human rights, and facilitate trade. Maine will thrive with a federal immigration system that is flexible enough to address the needs of businesses, while protecting the interests of both foreign-born and native-born workers.
STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY & WORKFORCE
For our state economy to grow and compete, Maine needs a robust workforce and policies that prioritize attracting and retaining global talent. This necessitates a federal immigration system that is both responsive to, and effective at, meeting the demands of Maine’s economy and the sectors that drive growth in our state. We also call on state leaders to adopt policies and practices to help Maine become a destination of choice for immigrants to the U.S. and that provide an environment where immigrants can reach their full potential in our state.
Strong families are critical to developing successful individuals and cohesive communities. Federal immigration policies should prioritize keeping families together in order to ensure the most supportive home environments for all children in our country and across our state.
A COMMONSENSE APPROACH
Immigrants have always been, and remain, an important part of our communities. We must adopt a commonsense approach to immigration that reflects our long-established values and recognizes the critical role that immigration has played in the history, culture, and economy of both our state and the nation. Federal immigration policies must provide sensible and fair paths forward for immigrants wishing to come to the U.S. to find opportunity and to work, to join their immediate families, and to seek refuge from persecution. Our immigration laws must also include a path towards citizenship for those already here who lack legal status and who are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture.
We support a federal immigration enforcement strategy that emphasizes public safety, targets serious crime, safeguards witnesses and victims, keeps families together whenever possible, and considers the interests of and unintended consequences to businesses, the workforce, and communities. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not on civil violations of federal code.
Communities that grow and attract talent are the ones that are welcoming to all. We support state and local policies, practices and programs that provide a welcoming environment for immigrants and offer all residents the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.
Adele Masengo Designs
Associated General Contractors of Maine
Austin Street Brewery
Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
Bangor Savings Bank
Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
C. Love Cookie Project/C. Love Baking School
Central Maine Power
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
Coffee by Design
Community Concepts Finance Corporation
cPort Credit Union
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Fogtown Brewing Co.
Goodwill Industries of Northern New England
Gorham Savings Bank
Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
GWI (Great Works Internet)
The Jackson Laboratory
Jasper Wyman & Sons
Lee Auto Malls
Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of
Live and Work in Maine
Maine Beer Company
Maine Business Immigration Coalition (MeBIC)
Maine Center for Entrepreneurs
Maine College of Art
Maine Community Action Partnership
Maine Dairy Farmers Association
Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association
Maine Health Care Association
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Maine Stream Finance
Maine Tourism Association
Mandy Levine Consulting, LLC
Manufacturers Association of Maine
Northern Light Health
Pan Tim Wood Products
Penobscot Community Health Care
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce
Portland Yacht Services
Rainbow Construction, Inc.
Retail Association of Maine
Rising Tide Brewing Co.
Rosemont Market & Bakery
Sappi North America
Sebasco Harbor Resort
Southern Midcoast Chamber of Commerce
St. Joseph's College
TRSS Wealth Management
Tyson / Barber Foods
Union River Lobster Pot
University of New England
Wild Blueberry Commision of Maine