At a campaign event in Saco on Monday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael Michaud joined York County Democrats in giving a standing ovation to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for his controversial decision to welcome undocumented immigrant children into Massachusetts’ schools and communities.
Patrick, a Democrat, announced last week that his administration will find ways for the Bay State to host immigrant children who recently crossed the US southwest border illegally. Although the federal government has said it will foot the bill for housing, clothing and feeding the untold number of young Central American immigrants, some Massachusetts cities and towns have objected to the move, which could place an extraordinary burden on local school systems and taxpayers.
Even Democratic state lawmakers have spoken out against Patrick’s immigration policy.
“Everybody is struggling to make ends meet and I think we need to address what we already have here in Massachusetts and help out the needy that are already here,” said state Rep. David Nangle (D-Lowell):
“This will not go away and we are fools to buy into this,” said state Rep. James Miceli (D-Wilmington) said. “The economy isn’t flourishing, people are having a hard time, we don’t have room and we don’t have an obligation to clean up someone else’s mess.”
State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) said she was “greatly concerned about what the implications are and what policy we’re setting here.”
The national immigration crises has yet to reach Maine, but the subject of illegal immigration will play a large role in Maine’s gubernatorial race, as Republican Gov. Paul LePage recently moved to halt the illegal flow of General Assistance welfare dollars to undocumented immigrants.
Michaud has thus far declined to articulate his position on GA for illegal immigrants.
The Press Herald reported in June: “Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud did not directly answer the question of whether undocumented immigrants should be eligible for General Assistance. However, he criticized LePage for “over-simplifying a complex matter” and supported the position staked out by Portland and other cities.”
Michaud has also been hesitant to speak out about federal immigration policy during his campaign. But his attitude toward’s Patrick’s policy couldn’t be clearer.
The 12-year congressman from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District gave Patrick a resounding applause and nodded with approval as Nancy Stolberg, a Mass.-based community organizer, thanked him for his welcoming immigration policy.
(In the video (see below) Michaud can be seen sitting next to Patrick.)