Portland Police Chief Vernon Malloch talks to reporters in this BDN file photo.

PORTLAND, Maine — Officials in Maine’s largest city say Portland is turning down a $68,000 police grant because of the city’s position on asylum seekers.

New language was inserted into the eligibility rules for the federal grant that requires city officials to attest their community doesn’t encourage non-citizens to reside there. The Portland Press Herald reports the existence of the Portland Community Support Fund runs counter to that standard.

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The public fund helps meet basic needs for asylum seekers who don’t qualify for state general assistance funds. Interim Police Chief Vern Malloch says the city has been getting the federal grant for as long as he can remember. He has been with the department for 34 years.

The grant is usually used for police training and technology.

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