- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is floating the idea of suing the federal government for the money the state spends on asylum seekers.

In a WVOM-FM interview on Tuesday, LePage claimed most Maine asylum seekers come from other states after overstaying visas. LePage said it takes up to two years to process an application, and said it’s inappropriate for states to pay during that period.

The governor said he hopes the Trump administration would reduce that waiting period.

LePage is proposing a $6.8 billion two-year budget that would eliminate a state program providing up to two years of housing and food assistance to the needy, including asylum seekers.

Maine reimburses municipalities for 70 percent of the program’s cost.

Federal law prohibits asylum seekers from working for at least six months.

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