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Border Children Become Political Fodder in New England

While far from the epicenter of the border crisis, New England gubernatorial races have ignited the debate surrounding kids who have crossed the border.

Legislators in states far from the epicenter of the border crisis have brought the issue to the forefront of local politics.

Maine's governor, Republican Paul LePage, recently voiced his opposition to housing 8 children who recently crossed the border into the U.S., the Associated Press reports.

"If we have eight kids in the state right now and if there are any state dollars going there, there are eight Mainers not getting services," said LePage after visiting a Lewiston, Maine homeless shelter, adding, "There's not an endless pot of money up there."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud, said LePage was doing this to rally his conservative base for November. Maine is 94 percent white and has 55,000 immigrants, many of them Somali refugees. The state's blueberry industry relies on many migrant workers.

In Massachusetts, candidates vying for Gov. Deval Patrick’s seat have both criticized and praised the governor for his move to house some of the children. In Connecticut, Democratic governor Daniel Malloy’s decision not to provide housing for roughly 2,000 children has also drawn derision from Republican opponents.


— Jacob Passy