Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) blasted the Obama administration on Tuesday after discovering on a conference call with other governors and White House officials that eight illegal immigrant juveniles had been dumped in his state.
“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 Republican governor said in a statement. “The White House officials did not provide any further information, and questions by other governors about how to handle Unaccompanied Alien Children went unanswered.”
LePage said Obama “has failed to enforce our border laws” and “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,” he declared. “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.”
LePage added that the people of Maine are generous and those “who can afford to give a little do so through our churches or charities to help the less fortunate.”
“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,” he declared.
Governors in states like Nebraska, Arizona, and Oklahoma have also complained that the Obama administration dumped illegal immigrants in their states without notifying them in advance.
LePage said the “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,” and “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,” he reiterated.
LePage was on a conference call with other governors, White House officials, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell when he found out about the news.