LePage calls Obama’s immigration stance ‘shameful,’ says it’s easier to ‘jump fence’ than follow legal path to citizenship


Gov. Paul LePage. Photo by Troy R. Bennett/Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage. Photo by Troy R. Bennett/Bangor Daily News

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Gov. Paul LePage had some stern words and a personal story for President Barack Obama over immigration during a meeting of the Republican Governors Association in Boca Raton, Florida.

According to the newspaper’s Washington Wire blog, the governors were discussing the possibility that Obama will use executive action to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

“It’s very shameful,” said LePage, who then recounted how he spent 11 years and $80,000 under existing immigration laws to secure a green card for Devon Raymond Jr., a 29-year-old native of Jamaica who has lived with the LePages in Waterville and who LePage refers to as his adopted son.

“I should have just told [Raymond] to go to Mexico and jumped the fence,” said LePage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The exchange was the latest example of LePage using his personal story to punctuate his policy positions, and also his flippancy, which at times has triggered criticism from his political opponents.

Several other Republican governors were also critical of Obama’s expected action on immigration, including Gov.-elect Larry Hogan of Maryland, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. While Hogan and Brownback said Obama should work more closely with Congress, Jindal suggested Obama’s move is bred from arrogance.

“I hope there will be Democrats of conscience who will stand up and say this is wrong,” Jindal reportedly said.




Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.