Maine Gov. Paul LePage may meet with Lewiston’s mayor Friday to talk about immigration-related issues.

During his weekly radio address Thursday morning with Portland station WGAN, LePage said he got a phone call from Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald letting him know “we have some real issues here.”

LePage said he is “going to try to go down tomorrow and find out what specifically they are.”

The governor also said Macdonald would “like some help from the state” and that “we’re going to look into it.”

Macdonald “expressed his concerns to the governor about Lewiston taxpayers footing the bill for immigration-related expenses that are not reimbursed,” said Peter Steele, LePage’s communications director.

He said LePage is going to Auburn on Friday “for a private family matter” and if he can arrange it with Macdonald, they may meet.


LePage mentioned Lewiston after talking for a few minutes about Portland’s handling of undocumented immigrants.

The governor said he wants to make sure state money isn’t being used improperly to assist sanctuary-type activities.

LePage said, too, that Portland doesn’t notify immigration control when it picks up people who may not have legal permission to be in the country. He said it ought to report them to federal agents.

Macdonald, who could not be reached Thursday, has written in columns in the Twin City Times about his frustration with the way asylum-seekers are handled.

Lewiston’s City Council agreed last fall to hire two additional staff people to help cope with what Macdonald called “the influx of asylum-seekers, which the federal government refuses to address.”

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