Colbert Pokes Fun at LePage's Concerns over Unaccompanied Children
Political satirist Stephen Colbert used his Wednesday night TV show to poke fun at Gov. Paul LePage over the governor's concerns that eight undocumented, unaccompanied minors have been placed in the state without his knowledge.
"Out of the 52,000 children in federal custody, Uncle Sam is unfairly saddling Maine with a whopping eight of them - eight!" Colbert said, provoking laughter.
In a press release issued earlier this week, Lepage said it was 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.." Maine, he said, can simply not afford it.
"Folks, I never realized Maine was in such dire financial straits," Colbert said. "They're just one Octomom away from bankruptcy."
In an email to MPBN, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the eight children were discharged from the federal Unaccompanied Alien Children Program and released to sponsors in Maine between January and June of this year.
Kenneth Wolfe says sponsors are generally family members, usually parents of the kids. And he says their placement is funded by the federal government, not the states. In addition, a fact sheet provided by the department says all the kids are screened for tuberculosis and vaccinated against communicable diseases.