The former GOP governor of Maine appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday to address reports that his state’s largest city, Portland, is facing an “asylum crisis” as migrants flood in and overwhelm available shelters and public assistance.
Former Gov. Paul LePage, who left office earlier this month, addressed details in a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday headlined, “Maine’s Largest City Strains Under Asylum-Seeker Influx.”
It’s a problem that the city “brought on itself” as the people “are going to be left to pick up the pieces,” Ingraham warned, Lifezette reported.
The WSJ report noted that migrants, mostly from African nations, now make up some 90 percent of Portland’s family and overflow shelters. In all, about 65 to 70 percent of people with government assistance in Maine are asylum seekers. And now, the city’s funds are also “dwindling fast” and lawyers “are overwhelmed with cases,” according to the report.
“This is happening all across New England,” Ingraham added. “But Portland brought it on itself, and people are going to be left to pick up the pieces.”
“What it really does — it takes away from the disabled, the elderly, people with intellectual disabilities. They’re pushed aside. They’re put on waiting lists, and the money goes to asylum seekers and undocumented citizens that — people that come to the state of Maine,” LePage (pictured above) said. “And that’s been going on for years.”
LePage said he addressed the issues as governor. He said the state budgeted, removed the wait lists — and paid for the assistance.
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Gov. Janet Mills (D) was elected last November, and Democrats have taken over the state legislature.
After “the Democrats came in,” they “took the money and put the people back on a wait list,” LePage said. “And they’re still there now, on a wait list. People who’ve lived their lives in Maine [are] now without services in their aging years or with their disabilities.”
The overwhelming number of migrants and Maine’s increasing inability to find enough funds to pay for their care is causing consternation and much discussion among residents, LePage said. But it’s only going to get worse.
He pointed to Mills’ decision to welcome more asylum seekers to Maine and to provide them with services, despite the crisis.
“And well, if you invite, they will come,” LePage said, offering some advice as well.
“I would say that if you have the resources and you feel compassionate for these folks, go ahead and do it,” LePage said. “But if you’re going to be taking resources — very, very important resources — for your citizens, then you are making a big mistake.”
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