In response to a Sun Journal story (June 17) and the discussion by the Lewiston City Council regarding providing general assistance benefits for those who do not qualify for state reimbursement of same, thus leaving our city fully financially liable — perhaps there is a compromise.

When people enter this country seeking asylum, they are required to state their intentions by filing federal form I-589 indicating their wish to be granted asylum. Unfortunately, during the asylum review, they cannot legally work unless the review goes past 150 days without a decision. After that time, they can use Form I-765 to be allowed to work.

A good compromise would be to allow those who provide proof they have filed form I-589 (but who have not yet been granted asylum) to apply for general assistance during that period, up to day 150 of the application, and then allow additional benefits only if they can prove they have filed form I-765 and are actively seeking employment if they are able to work.

Allowing those who follow the rules to still get some help for a short period will leave them more appreciative later and break the cycle of extreme decisions made in either direction.

While my comments are directed at the current Lewiston City Council, the same rules could be applied to state level reimbursement as debated by the governor and the current Legislature.

Robert Reed, Lewiston


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