Immigration debate roils politics in ... Maine?

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LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The debate over immigration is quickly becoming a central issue in one of the nation's most closely watched governor's races — in Maine.

Maine is the nation's whitest state, and its residents have a reputation for being insular. But they have also embraced the need for immigrants as the state's population ages and declines.

So Republican Gov. Paul LePage roiled the cultural waters when he criticized the federal government's placement of eight immigrant children in Maine without advising him.

LePage's re-election campaign has attacked his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (mih-SHAWD'), for not taking a clear stand on whether he would agree to shelter children in Maine.

But Michaud's campaign said last week that LePage is using the issue merely to rally his political base.

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