Governor Learned Today Federal Government Placed Unaccompanied Alien Children in Maine

July 22, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – On a conference call today with White House officials and other governors, Governor Paul R. LePage asked if any Unaccompanied Alien Children have been placed in Maine. He was told that eight children have been placed in Maine.

“I only learned that children have been placed in Maine after I asked the question. No one from the federal government had informed me or the Governor’s Office that Unaccompanied Alien Children were coming to Maine. The White House officials did not provide any further information, and questions by other governors about how to handle Unaccompanied Alien Children went unanswered.”

“Our nation was founded by immigrants who came to this country in search of a better life. Our nation and our state still welcomes legal immigrants who want to work hard and help Maine prosper. However, we cannot afford to spend our limited resources on those who come here illegally.”

“Maine people are generous. Many of us who can afford to give a little do so through our churches or charities to help the less fortunate. Our state government is here to help those who need a temporary hand up or our most vulnerable residents, such as the elderly and disabled who cannot care for themselves. But it is wrong for the federal government to force a higher burden on the people of Maine to pay for those who come to our country illegally, especially when the government secretly places illegal aliens in our state without our knowledge.”

“The President has failed to enforce our border laws. Now states like Texas are facing a crisis. The failure of Congress and the President to address our border issues should not result in more of a financial burden on Maine people. We cannot become a state that encourages illegal immigration. We simply cannot afford it. I urge the President and Congress to find a solution to this problem, not look to Maine to harbor illegal immigrants.”

Governor LePage also informed the White House officials that the number of people seeking asylum in Maine has been increasing. He asked if the federal government would be providing health assessments and financial resources for asylum seekers. His questions were not answered.