(UPDATED) Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: “Illegal Aliens Should Not Get General Assistance”
9PM UPDATE: Some regional coverage now, as Boston media is paying attention…
Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills has now issued a response to this morning’s weekly address of Governor LePage (see below). Within the letter is a detailed statement of why she and her office believe that the rules changes set forth by the administration are unconstitutional, the substantial risks that LePage places all Maine municipalities and citizens, and a detailed timeline of communications between her office, DHHS and that of the Governor.
Note: Using more of his “My Way Or The Highway” approach, Governor Paul LePage has now forced all Maine municipalities to decide whether they will take his side (with a recent rule change in eligibility) or that of Attorney General Janet Mills (who along with ACLU of Maine maintains that the change is unconstitutional) in the ongoing fight over general assistance for undocumented immigrants.
The letter seen below was sent to all Maine cities and towns late last week.
Illegal Aliens Should Not Get General Assistance
I have always said Maine’s safety net should help our most needy citizens.
Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.
Illegal aliens who choose to live in Maine are not our most vulnerable citizens. We need to take care of Mainers first. I think most Mainers would agree.
During my first few days in office in 2011, I issued an Executive Order to repeal Maine’s status as a sanctuary state. In 2004 Democratic leadership banned state officials from asking people about their legal status when they requested benefits. My order rescinded that policy.
Also in 2011, the State eliminated state welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.
Last week, we took the next step. We told Maine towns and cities they will no longer get state funding to give to illegal aliens.
Federal law prohibits states from providing General Assistance to illegal immigrants. This law was enacted in 1996, when President Clinton and the Republican Congress approved sweeping welfare reforms.
Attorney General Janet Mills was appointed by the Democratic-led Legislature, and she works for them. Mills has been working aggressively to keep giving General Assistance to illegal aliens. What about “illegal” doesn’t she understand? I find it inexplicable that the state’s top law enforcement official would encourage municipalities to violate federal law.
It’s really quite simple. Federal law prohibits state reimbursement for illegal immigrants. We are just enforcing the federal law.
Local taxpayers must speak for themselves. I urge all Mainers to tell your city councilors and selectmen to stop handing out your money to illegals.
By following federal law and eliminating welfare abuse, we can provide a safety net for our most vulnerable. We will be able to use our resources more effectively and efficiently to better provide Mainers a path to economic independence.
Thank you for listening.