Almost 200 people are at the Portland Expo to seek asylum in the United States, and hundreds more are on the way. Credit: Courtesy of CBS 13

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – South Portland is among the communities looking for ways to help Portland deal with the influx of asylum seekers.

Mayor Claude Morgan presented the issue to councilors in a meeting Thursday night.

It was quite a crowd at city hall, and a chamber filled with extremely passionate residents who spoke in support of providing assistance to the City of Portland and the dozens of asylum seekers at the Expo.

During the meeting, city councilors made a list of tasks to complete to begin the process.

[USM opens up 200-bed dorm in Gorham to help asylum seekers]

City staff will begin exploring potential locations for future shelters, and the requirements to get them up and running.

The city will continue to work with Portland to see what their needs are and how South Portland can help.

Mayor Morgan says he’ll begin encouraging neighboring communities to join in on the efforts.

At next week’s meeting, councilors will discuss putting $40,000 towards the Immigration Legal Advocacy Project to ensure the immigrants are able to receive legal status.

The city manager also says the city will soon have a way for residents to donate resources.

The City of Portland set up a “text-to-donate” line for monetary donations (text EXPO to 91999). For more information and other ways to donate, click here.