LePage: “If You’re A Refugee, I’m All In- If You’re An ‘Asylee’, I’m Skeptical And I’m Concerned”

Posted on April 3, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

The first question asked of Governor Paul LePage last night directly took on the administration, in regards to the 150 day wait for those seeking asylum in order to be allowed to work. This has been a huge battle between LePage, DHHS and the Cities of Portland and Westbrook for quite awhile now over funding with ongoing litigation.

A theme LePage has repeated for quite awhile now. From his State of the State address:

    “We have limited resources and we have to stretch them as far as we can go. And one of the elements that has a burden in the last couple years has been those who have receiving funds, but they are here illegally. 

    Now, am I compassionate about illegal aliens? Yes, I am. I would prefer that they do it the right way, but it’s very expensive, ’cause I’ve gone through that. We brought a young man here and we did it the right way and paid the bill.  

    But this is the problem with some of the illegals that are here today. When a refugee comes here from a foreign country, they get a medical assessment and we know their health. But when they come here illegally, they don’t get medical assessments. 

    And one thing that we don’t want to see is the uptick of hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis. 

    But it is here. We are dealing with it. And it is very costly. 

    So if nothing else, they should be getting a medical assessment when they get here.

    And I believe that my responsibility as your governor is number one to Maine residents first and everyone else second.”

Other Republicans in Maine have been very vocal in their views of those who come to Maine seeking asylum, most notably Lewiston Mayor Bob MacDonald. This last night seems on the surface via LePage’s wording to be a reversal of his previous views on refugees.

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LePage, Portland, Homeless Advocates Battle Over General Assistance

Posted on March 8, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sen. Justin Alfond, Sen. Anne Haskell, Rep. Mark Dion, Rep. Diane Russell, Rep. Drew Gattine , Rep. Peter Stuckey, Rep. Erik Jorgensen, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Portland City Council Ed Suslovik, Preble St ED Mark Swann, and many others at 2/27/15 Oxford St Homeless Shelter press conference.

Sen. Justin Alfond, Sen. Anne Haskell, Rep. Mark Dion, Rep. Diane Russell, Rep. Drew Gattine , Rep. Peter Stuckey, Rep. Erik Jorgensen, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, Portland City Council Ed Suslovik, Preble St ED Mark Swann, and many others at 2/27/15 Oxford St Homeless Shelter press conference.

At the end of the coldest February on record in Maine, political leaders and homelessness advocates held a press conference in Portland to discuss the needs of some of the region’s most needy and address the attacks by the LePage administration regarding the city’s spending of General Assistance monies.

A reminder: this is part of an ongoing legal battle between Portland/ Westbrook and the state over GA funds.

    Alfond, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and others on hand at the shelter Friday said they can explain why Portland seems to have an outsized share of the state’s General Assistance allocation, but that they can’t get a prompt audience with LePage or DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew to discuss it.

    “We want the coordinated attacks on Portland to end, and the work to make our social services better to begin,”
    Alfond said, pointing out that Portland is not only an “outlier” in its distribution of General Assistance funds but also in that it represents an outsized share of the state’s economy.

    Alfond acknowledged Friday the audit was “troubling” and that Portland’s city officials and state representatives were eager to meet with the administration to discuss ways the city could better administer General Assistance. Brennan said he called the governor’s office on Monday to set up an appointment to discuss the audit.

    “I thought it was urgent, but the first date they gave me [for a meeting] was the end of March,” Brennan said Friday. “Obviously, it’s not as urgent to them as it is to us.”

Governor LePage immediately fired back and issued the following statements via a press release:

    “My quarrel is not with the people who stayed at the shelter,” said Governor LePage. “Mental illness often plays a role there. It’s a matter of who pays. The City of Portland knew these people had this money in the bank, but they decided to bill the taxpayers anyway for years’ worth of welfare reimbursement. Municipalities complain about losing revenue sharing, but then I see abuse like this. When municipalities set priorities that unfairly burden Maine property taxpayers, it’s hard to have sympathy for them. Tax relief should go directly to the property taxpayer, not to fund more government. That’s why my tax reform plan gives money directly to the Maine people by tripling property tax fairness credits, doubling the homestead exemption for those over 65 and significantly lowering income tax rates. The most recent news out of Portland shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it serves as an example of why Maine needs real tax reform.”

This weekend, State Senator Anne Haskell (D-Portland) responded to the governor and administration via the Democratic radio address:

    At 8 p.m. last night it was 12 degrees. And it’s March–not January. Together we’ve experienced one of the longest, most frigid, and snowiest winters in history.

    Good Morning. This is State Senator Anne Haskell of Portland. And, I don’t really want to talk about the weather. But I do want each of us to stop for a second and think about a time this winter: Think about the ten minutes it took you to walk from your office to your car on a blustery cold day. Your cheeks froze. Your fingers and toes hurt and you couldn’t wait to seek shelter from the wind.

    What if you didn’t have a home. If you didn’t have a place where you could crank the heat, pull up the blankets, and settle in with a cup of tea.

    What if, at sun down, you had stand in line for hours with the hopes–not the guarantee–that you could get a mat to sleep on at a shelter. A mat, by the way, that is only three inches thick. A mat that is placed in an open room–flanked on each side by strangers–only five inches from you. Clutching all that belongs to you, in a bag or a backpack.

    Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street Homeless Shelter: We are just trying to keep people alive

    Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street Homeless Shelter: We are just trying to keep people alive

    Mark Swann, the executive director at Preble Street in Portland, said, one day this winter, there were 282 people who showed up for one of the 142 mats. The math on this one is easy: 140 people were left to find shelter elsewhere that night. Some slept on the floor of the soup kitchen down the street. Others, had to sit up in chairs all night at city offices. And, a few others waited at the shelter–hoping a mat would open up. One person waited 11 hours; only to lay his head for two hours before the morning came, and the shelter closed for the day.

    Who chooses this?

    The answer is, nobody.

    Nobody chooses to be homeless. Nobody chooses to be mentally ill. Not one of the 282 people who lined up at the Oxford Street Shelter that night was trying to get away with something. Nobody working at the shelter or the city who is trying to provide life-saving shelter is trying to get away with something.

    At its core, this service of providing EMERGENCY shelter is serving the most basic and fundamental and crucial needs of humanity.

    Yet, in recent weeks, it’s become a political football. The LePage administration has attempted to garner salacious headlines by vilifying the people who utilize the shelter, and also those who provide the service.

    It’s not an easy story to tell. Why? Because we are talking about mental illness. We are talking about diseases like Schizophrenia.

    Recently the City of Portland studied 30 of the so-called “long stayers” at the shelters. What did they find? All of them, 100% had serious and persistent mental health issues–often untreated. Some had money in the bank. Some even had thousands of dollars in the bank.

    What does this mean?

    It could mean many things.

    For some, it means that perhaps a special account was set up by family members to put money aside for them. Perhaps intended to pay for things like dental and medical care.

    For some, it could be the remnant of another time in their life–before they got sick.

    For all, it is money that–because of their psychosis, they are unable or unwilling to use.

    DSC_0132They are not staying at homeless shelters to save a buck. They are staying there because they believe staying at a shelter is the best option available to them.

    And…most importantly, they are not numbers on someone’s spreadsheet. They are our brothers and sisters, our parents, our aunts and uncles. They are our fellow human beings–living much more difficult lives than we can imagine.

    Mental illness is not easy to understand. But it is something that we all need to take a closer look at. We can’t be afraid of it. And most of all, we can’t play the blame-game–that serves no purpose other than to distract and delay from a meaningful solutions-based dialogue.

    Long before this administration, the mental health system in Maine has been broken. The overflowing shelters in our state is one symptom of that–as are our jails–that are also overflowing with people who would benefit more from mental health intervention and treatment.

    As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee and a former member of the state’s Criminal Justice Committee, I can tell you that there are dozens of lawmakers who are interested in solving this problem and helping our fellow Mainers who are suffering. But the first step toward a solution has to be one that is honest.

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(UPDATED) Maine Governor Paul LePage: “Illegal Immigrants” Bringing Hepatitis C, TB & HIV to Maine

Posted on February 4, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

(Updated below with the governor’s address in three video clips and text as prepared. Here is a Storify link to various reports, photos and reactions to the address on Twitter.)

A portion of last night’s State of the State address.

“We have limited resources and we have to stretch them as far as we can go. And one of the elements that has a burden in the last couple years has been those who have receiving funds, but they are here illegally. 
 
Now, am I compassionate about illegal aliens? Yes, I am. I would prefer that they do it the right way, but it’s very expensive, ’cause I’ve gone through that. We brought a young man here and we did it the right way and paid the bill.  
 
But this is the problem with some of the illegals that are here today. When a refugee comes here from a foreign country, they get a medical assessment and we know their health. But when they come here illegally, they don’t get medical assessments. 
 
And one thing that we don’t want to see is the uptick of hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis. 
 
But it is here. We are dealing with it. And it is very costly. 
 
So if nothing else, they should be getting a medical assessment when they get here.
 
And I believe that my responsibility as your governor is number one to Maine residents first and everyone else second.”

—–

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The governor’s speech as prepared.

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ICYMI/UPDATED: Is LePage’s “Outrage” A Politicized Continuation of Ongoing General Assistance/ Immigrant Battle?

Posted on October 8, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

DSC_0109Late today Maine Governor Paul LePage issued the following press release, regarding “swirling rumors” of “a large number of Unaccompanied Alien Children”. As such, the July write up is being revised and brought up to the top, as within are links that should assuage the Administration’s concerns.

The “rumors” are addressed in a Lewiston Sun Journal story published earlier Wednesday (“Poland selectmen hear of plan to house immigrant children at former Elan School”). That story was later updated (“Government officials deny plan to house immigrant children in Poland”).

    Theresa Allocca of Poland has told the town that she is working with federal officials and with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office to bring the children to Poland, where they will be housed and educated at a private school funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

    At Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting in Poland, Town Manager Bradley Plante read a statement announcing that federal officials plan to house 120 immigrant children at the former school, and that the project was being coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    After seeing the Sun Journal report, Kevin Kelley, communications director for Collins, said, “We’re not working with (Allocca) to make this happen,” nor is FEMA.

    “There is no orphanage and the federal government is not sending illegal immigrant children to it,”
    Kelley said.

    And, spokespeople for the Maine Emergency Management Agency and the state’s Department of Health and Human Services also denied that such a proposal is under consideration by their agencies. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also denied any plan to place immigrant children in Poland.

It should be noted that, at NO time in the past 3 1/2 years, has Paul LePage nor Mary Mayhew ever spoken a word regarding the immunization statuses of Maine children, let alone in regards to non-immunized children posing a greater health risk to our state’s citizens.

The press release:

    Statement of Governor LePage on Unaccompanied Alien Children

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released today the following statement with regard to Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) who may be placed in Poland, Maine:

      “Rumors have been swirling about whether a large number of Unaccompanied Alien Children may be placed at the former Elan School campus in Poland, Maine. Despite efforts by our administration, these rumors have not been substantiated by the federal government. As recently as last week, Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, sent an inquiry to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeking information on whether such plans are in the works. So far, we have not received a response or further information from the federal government. The Administration remains opposed to the placement of these children within Maine.”

      “While we are very concerned for the health and safety of the children, we hope the federal government provides funding and an appropriate home for them if this plan is real and comes to fruition. However, since we have no idea who would pay these costs or if there is any health risk to Maine people, we cannot support them coming to Maine. The state has received no formalized plans or information about this alleged plan. As a result, the administration has no assurance from the federal government of the health status of the children or whether they have had proper immunizations, nor have we had any assurance that the federal government would pay for their health care, education, general welfare or safety.”

================================================================================

(Originally posted 23 July 2014)

UPDATE #2: PPH reporting that the eight children, staying with local families came to Maine between January and June of this year. DHHS spokesman John Martins: “No one but Office of Refugee Resettlement at the federal level knows who these children are, where there are, or how placement was arranged.”

UPDATE: Some statistical information on the children coming across the border via Mother Jones:

    Little kids, including a troubling number of children age five or younger, make up the fastest-growing group of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the US border in fiscal year 2014. So far this year, nearly 7,500 kids under 13 have been caught without a legal guardian—and 785 of them were younger than six.

    It’s still mostly teens who travel solo to the United States from countries like El Salvador and Honduras, as the Pew Research Center revealed today in a new analysis of US Customs and Border Protection data. But compared to 2013, Border Patrol apprehensions of kids 12 or younger already have increased 117 percent, while those of teens have jumped only 12 percent. Apprehensions of the youngest group of kids, those under six, have nearly tripled.

—–

One would think it was an election year oh right.

DSC_0112Yesterday during a conference call with the White House, Maine Governor Paul LePage was informed that eight undocumented children, as part of the federal government’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program, had recently been placed in the state without his knowledge:

    “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.”

togethBangor Daily News provides more information for context:

    The process that likely put the children in Maine predates LePage’s tenure in office as well as President Barack Obama’s: Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has taken custody and care of “unaccompanied alien children.” The department makes efforts to release the child to a relative in the United States while he or she is processed by immigration officials — a process that can take up to two years.

So Paul LePage is either very wrong or so deliberately misleading on this point to score cheap points with his base that it would be comical, if it weren’t so blatant as to his intent. Because make no mistake about it, he is engaging in both remarkable hypocrisy on a variety of levels and politicizing these children by combining them with his ongoing attacks on General Assistance (GA), which is already forcing Maine communities to either take his side or that of Attorney General Janet Mills.

Weigh the evidence.

1. The federal government isn’t “forc(ing) a higher burden on the people of Maine to pay” at all- $868 million was appropriated for the programs for FY14. And the “churches and charities” that LePage referenced in his press release yesterday are among those working with HHS to provide foster care for these children.

2. From June: Weekly Address Of Governor Paul LePage: “Illegal Aliens Should Not Get General Assistance”

lepage sots angry self

    “Illegal aliens who choose to live in Maine are not our most vulnerable citizens. We need to take care of Mainers first.

    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.”

But we have had a few Presidents since 1996 and one of them, George W. Bush, not only signed a critically important bill into law (2000) but also the reauthorization of same (2008), as mentioned in the BDN. More via Think Progress:

deval

    Under a 2002 human trafficking law signed by former President George Bush and reauthorized again in 2008 with additional protections, Mexican unaccompanied children apprehended crossing the border are automatically returned without formal deportation proceedings because the two countries share a border. But unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala cannot be sent back without going through the deportation process, since that law ensured that America wouldn’t send kids back to a dangerous situation. (Honduras, for example, has experiences increased gang violence in 40 percent of its territory, while violence against females is surging in Guatemala.)

    Authorities must instead process these children and determine whether they have credible proof that they cannot return to their countries of origin. Central American children are given basic care like medical screenings in processing centers before being placed with relatives or foster care until they can appear in front of immigration judges.

3. Here’s where the politicizing of not just the plight of these eight children, but the wider discussion of general assistance for all undocumented people in Maine gets personal from Paul LePage, on a multi-generational level.

  • Paul LePage himself. It’s well known at this point that LePage as a child managed to flee a dangerous and potentially life-threatening environment. He was able to not only survive, but become well educated and successful in large part due to the kindness and generous assistance of many important figures in his early years.

      The oldest son of eighteen children in an impoverished, dysfunctional family, Governor LePage left home at the age of eleven to escape domestic violence and lived on the streets of Lewiston for two years, making a meager living shining shoes. At age thirteen, two families jointly “adopted” Governor LePage. Eddy and Pauline Collins kept him busy washing dishes at the Theriault’s Cafe. Bruce and Joan Myrick kept him busy hauling boxes. Bruce was a Pepsi-Cola truck driver. Later the Governor worked at the Antoine Rubber Company and at a meat packing company.

      While attending Husson, he supported himself as a short order cook and bartender, while making time to be the editor of the college newspaper. Getting into Husson presented a challenge in itself. Governor LePage was brought up speaking French. With the help of U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe’s first husband, Peter, he was able to take an admissions exam in French to demonstrate his strong comprehension abilities and earn admittance.

    World War 1 registration card of Joseph LePage. Note that he is listed as not a U.S. citizen but rather as "Alien".

    World War 1 registration card of Joseph LePage. Note that he is listed as not a U.S. citizen but rather as “Alien”.

  • His paternal grandfather Joseph LePage.

      “His father, a 24-year-old mill worker, was the son of immigrants from Saint Jean de Dieu, a small Quebec farming village 70 miles north of Madawaska, who then lived in a modest three-bedroom cape on a small grassy lot at 759 Lisbon Street. A Quebec genealogist recently revealed Gerard to have been one of the fifth-great-grandsons of Rene LePage de Saint Claire, first lord of Rimouski, Quebec, but his branch of the family had inherited neither wealth nor privilege. Gerard’s father, a printer, had emigrated to Lewiston in 1919, married a local girl, and raised nine children. Gov. LePage has said his father had only a third grade education.”

    Joseph LePage was in Lewiston and listed a resident of that city, per his 1917 World War registration card. He was not, as the card shows, an American citizen but rather listed as “Alien”. His service record via Ancestry.com reads:

      Name: Joseph Lepage
      Serial Number: 388757
      Birth Place: St. Jean, Quebec, Canada
      Birth Date: 09 Jul 1887
      Residence: Lewiston
      Comment: Ind: Lewiston, Androscoggin Co., LB No. 1, May 31/18. Pvt; Pvt 1st cl Apr. 12/19. Org: Btry B 7 Bn to July 13/18; Btry 16 FA to disch. Eng: Meuse Argonne. Overseas: Sept. 1/18 to July 29/19. Hon disch on demob: Aug. 6, 1919.

    After he concluded his overseas service in the military, Joseph petitioned for naturalization with some of his fellow soldiers as witnesses and on August 5, 1919, was finally granted status as an American citizen.

    So Paul LePage’s own grandfather was able to come into America, work here, enlist to be a soldier, serve in that capacity even though he was not legally an American, and only became a citizen after the conclusion of his service and with the assistance of his fellow soldiers.Got it.

    But here’s where Paul LePage’s false outrage over unaccompanied children entering Maine gets really ugly, because not only was his life possibly saved due to the kindness of others, but he and his own family themselves helped and supported arguably an “Unaccompanied Alien Child” years ago- an act of generosity that should be a model for others to look up to and emulate.

    WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY The official family portrait of Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann LePage; their five adult children, Lindsay, Lisa, Lauren, Paul, and Devon; their grandchildren, Nicholas and Olivia; and Baxter the dog. (Photo @Jim Bowdoin, via Portland Phoenix)

    WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY The official family portrait of Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann LePage; their five adult children, Lindsay, Lisa, Lauren, Paul, and Devon; their grandchildren, Nicholas and Olivia; and Baxter the dog. (Photo @Jim Bowdoin, via Portland Phoenix)

  • LePage family friend Devon Raymond.

    In January 2011, Governor LePage refused to attend multiple traditional Martin Luther King Day events, telling reporters to tell NAACP to “kiss his butt”(VIDEO):

      LePage: “They (NAACP) are a special interest. End of story. And I’m not going to be held hostage by special interests. And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they’d like about it.”
      Reporter: “And what is your response to them saying that this is more just this one instance but rather a pattern?”
      LePage: “Tell `em to kiss my butt. (giggles) Ahh, I got Dan all upset. You know, this is not about – you know, if they want me to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them.

    But there’s the thing- he wasn’t, and isn’t, the LePages’ son, but rather what Governor LePage would call an “Unaccompanied Alien Child”.

    Was then Governor Angus King informed of the boy’s arrival in Waterville?

    Unlike Paul LePage and the eight children, there was no immediate danger whatsoever present (“Jamaican joined LePage household as a teen”)

      Devon Raymond Jr. came to live with Gov. Paul LePage’s family in August 2002 with nothing but a suitcase, some golfing gear, ill-fitting shoes and a Bible, according to the governor’s office. The LePages met Raymond in Jamaica through his father, who caddied for Paul LePage during an island vacation, according to Demeritt. Raymond is not a U.S. citizen, nor has he yet been formally adopted by the LePages.

      Raymond moved to Waterville and graduated in 2003 from Waterville High School, where he played on the school’s golf team. He attended Husson University — LePage’s alma mater — for a year and a half, playing golf and studying sports management.

      In his biography on the social networking site Twitter, Raymond describes himself as “chasing the dreams of being a PGA pro.” “My dreams are my motivation,” he wrote. In 2005, he wrote on a Jamaican social networking site that he had moved to the United States to “finish high school and get a college education” and also pursue a golf career.

    LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt even went on-air and was questioned by WGAN’s Ken Altshuler over the governor’s claim that he has an adopted black son:

      “Why add layers of lies and deceit to a very simple story?” Altshuler asked of the governor’s comments.

      “First of all, I reject your characterization that Devon is not the son of Paul LePage,” Demeritt said.

      “He’s not his adopted son!” said Altshuler, who is a lawyer.

      “He’s absolutely his son,” Demeritt said. “Paul LePage and Ann LePage have made Devon a part of their family.” While the adoption paperwork has never been filed, Demeritt said LePage is like a father to Devon Raymond Jr.

    So we ask: Who is Paul LePage to question not just long established federal immigration law and specific procedures actively being implemented, but the immediate safety concerns for these eight children in need?

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  • (UPDATED) Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: “Illegal Aliens Should Not Get General Assistance”

    Posted on June 24, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    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.

    AUDIO: Illegal Aliens Should Not Get General Assistance

        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.

      togethThese vulnerable Mainers include the elderly, children, disabled and mentally ill.

      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.

      paul janetAttorney 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.

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