Your front-page headline June 22 reads “Should city taxpayers fill aid gap? Views mixed,” and of course, it should come as no surprise that taxpayers in Portland are very troubled by the question of funding for General Assistance for asylum seekers.

Most feel compassion for those who have legally entered our country and yet are forbidden to work and therefore need our assistance until they are permitted to seek employment. Yet the hard workers in Portland are themselves stretched financially by the expenses of living.

We who do not live in Portland ought to be grateful that this great city acts as a hub for so many who are in need and tries valiantly to care for the homeless, those with medical needs and those whose limitations hold them in poverty.

It should be the responsibility of all towns and all taxpayers throughout the state to provide relief for Portland and assume some of the financial burden of General Assistance for legal asylum seekers – and for so much else. (Hmm, if we are not willing to provide state dollars, then should we consider transporting asylum seekers to the Blaine House in Augusta?)

Indeed, since it is the federal government that does not permit asylum seekers to work for six months, the feds ought to reimburse Portland. Until they do, it’s the state’s responsibility, not just Portland’s.

Sandra and Ole Jaeger