I read with great consternation the front-page article about asylum seekers in the Monday Press Herald (“Barred from working, facing aid cutoff, asylum seekers in Maine fear ‘disaster’ “). I hope that the municipalities, all who face this human crisis will find a way to help those facing eviction and hunger.

The world is experiencing a major migration of suffering and frightened migrants to other countries, whether from Mexico or Africa and now from Syria and Myanmar.

I do understand that the increase in immigrant arrivals has created a financial burden on Portland. This worldwide turbulence has now come home to us in Portland. These people are like us, with or without support and families, well or poorly educated.

It is critical to all of us to help these folks to become employed, productive members of our community, who can pay taxes and give back. Indeed, most new arrivals have skills that are being wasted.

Although new immigrants are anxious to begin work, they are not allowed to work. General Assistance is the only bridge they have. What else can they do? Which of us cannot point to immigrant roots? Our new friends wish only to make their way, just as my German, Scottish and Irish immigrants struggled to do.

Without the help of General Assistance, we will see hundreds of homeless men, women and children on our streets. It would be a humanitarian disaster and fly in the face of our American and religious morality.

And please consider the landlords who have provided simple, clean and safe apartments for these folks. The loss of those clients before they can become self-sufficient will empty those apartments, and cause an enormous financial loss for landlords.

Christine Koch

South Portland