January 29, 2013

U.S. refugee official to host public meeting in Portland

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — A federal immigration official will be in Portland tonight to discuss the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers, the city said in a press release.

Eskinder Negash, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will discuss changes to government programs that help immigrants meet basic needs and find jobs.

The Office for Refugee Resettlement provides critical resources to people in need, including refugees, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied alien children and survivors of torture.

The discussion, scheduled for 4-6 p.m. in the Portland Public Library's Rhines Auditorium, is open to the public. Officials from the city and the state's Office of Multicultural Affairs are expected to be on hand.

Negash will be in Maine for two days. He will spend most of Wednesday in Lewiston and return to Portland to visit Catholic Charities, City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said.

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