Colbert Spoofs Maine Gov's 'Border Children' Concerns

Jul 24, 2014

Gov. Paul LePage's displeasure with the placement of unaccompanied minors in Maine has become fodder for late night political satirist Stephen Colbert. Colbert used his Wednesday night cable TV show to poke fun at Gov. LePage and his characterization of the effect they could have on state resources.

  With more than 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America in federal custody, and as many 90,000 expected by the end of the year, Colbert says the humanitarian crisis at the Texas border is a flood - a flood like El Nino is raining actual "ninos."

"And now that they're here - I believe that's why it's called that - I believe that's where the name comes from," Colbert said.

And now that they are here, Colbert says, no one knows what parts of America they're destroying first - except in Maine."Because out of the 52,000 children in federal custody, Uncle Sam is unfairly saddling Maine with a whopping eight of them - eight!" he 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 this week, 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, often parents of the kid who've been discharged.

He declined to provide any additional information about them, except to point out that, contrary to what some around the country have said about the children's health status, all have been vaccinated against communicable diseases and screened for tuberculosis. In addition, he said, their placement is funded by the federal government, not the states.

View the Colbert episode.