Please note -- this is an older thread, from 2005, started by Rep. Rich Cebra.
Maine: a Sanctuary State for Illegal Aliens
By Rep. Rich Cebra (R-Naples)
In travels around my legislative district, I'm often asked about
Governor John Baldacci. Recently, a constituent said, "Tell me the worst
thing the governor has done."
I thought for a moment. Was it Dirigo Health, which now threatens to tax
working Mainers to pay for the governor's failing program? Was it
running up $325 million in unpaid Medicaid bills that Maine owes to
hospitals in the state? Was it LD1, the governor's "tax reform" bill
that now could spark a full-blown revolt over property taxes?
No, the worst thing this governor has done, in my view, took place on
April 9, 2004. On that day, he quietly signed an executive order that
effectively made Maine a sanctuary for illegal aliens. He turned Maine
into the first and only state to proclaim that people in the country
illegally - even if they are fugitives, criminals or terrorists - are
entitled to the full range of welfare, medical and other benefits
intended for the lawful, taxpaying people of our state.
With the stroke of his pen, the governor ordered state employees to not
inquire about a person's immigration "status." That means that illegal
aliens can obtain Medicaid, subsidized housing, food stamps, welfare
payments and in-state college tuition - something denied to legal
Americans from other states. We're also one of the few remaining states
that issue driver's licenses to people who are here illegally. Once they
have a license, it is likely that they will, under the Motor Voter
program, register to vote.
By now, everyone knows that the United States faces a staggering
immigration crisis. According to a Time magazine special report, more
than three million illegal aliens sneak into the country every year.
Federal officials admit that the illegal population is at least 11
million now, but other estimates put the figure at 20 million or more.
In 10 years, it could hit upwards of 50 million.
People are pouring in illegally from virtually every failed country on
earth - from Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, Central
America and, most of all, Mexico. I feel bad for people stuck in poverty
in some Third World country, but the fact is that we cannot take in tens
of millions of people, with no end in sight. It would bankrupt the
country and, in time, reduce us to Third World living conditions.
Not all illegals come here to work, either. We're also drawing the
criminal class from many nations. Already one third of inmates in
federal prisons are illegals. There are tens of thousands more in state
prisons from coast to coast - another huge cost resulting from the
invasion. How long before the scourge of Third World crime hits us here
When a state like Maine creates a haven for illegals, a place where they
can enjoy protected status and numerous benefits, the word travels far
and wide over the immigration grapevine. We know from the Census Bureau
that at least several thousand illegal aliens are already in Maine. The
governor's action will undoubtedly attract thousands more.
In times of dire financial difficulties, such as Maine now faces, you
would think that a governor would make sure that our limited resources
went to legal residents. But this governor seems prepared to shower them
on anyone, whether they snuck across the border or flew in on a tourist
visa and never left. It is impossible to know how much the governor's
action is costing us in welfare, free medical care and other services,
but it stands to reason that the amount is huge and growing.
Recognizing that issuing this executive order would provoke outrage and
protest throughout the state, the governor signed it quietly, and made
sure that the language sounded harmless. The title certainly sounds
benign - an Order Concerning Access to State Services by All Entitled
Maine Residents. The damaging details are buried inside. The press
dutifully played down this bizarre development or ignored it altogether,
to keep the public in the dark about the governor's scheme.
The section on legal authority for the executive order is especially
interesting. It states: "Nothing in this executive order is intended to
supercede any lawful requirements, state or federal, regarding the
conduct of state employees." However, by giving protection to illegal
aliens, the order plainly breaks federal immigration laws, USC 8, 1325,
sections 274, 276, 277 and other statutes. It is a federal crime, for
instance, to "aid, abet, assist, encourage or induce an illegal alien to
remain in the United States."
This is an example of the loss of the rule of law. It further expands
the Third World momentum that threatens to overwhelm the United States.
Illegal immigration advocacy groups grow in power with each new victory.
The taking of Maine is their biggest conquest yet. Not even California,
Arizona or other places overrun by massive waves of illegal immigration
have taken the step of turning the entire state into a sanctuary zone.
My guess is that the governor has no clue what he's bringing upon the
state. We'll assume he had good intentions. But Maine will probably be
swamped by this silent invasion with possibly millions of illegals in
the next 25 years, all demanding welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, free
schooling for their kids, subsidized housing and, of course, freedom
from arrest and deportation. Our language, culture, environment, crime
rate and quality of life will be altered utterly. The governor doesn't
understand how much damage his actions will create for our children.
My hope for our security, our economy and our children, is that we will
elect a new governor - soon - who will rescind this ruinous executive
Representative Rich Cebra, a small business owner, represents the 101st
House District, including Casco, Naples and part of Poland