immigrant children

Alex Brandon / Maine Public

The House Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree that is aimed at keeping siblings together while in federal custody. Pingree says it’s the least Congress can do.

“Siblings are being unnecessarily separated under HHS care,” she says. “This includes children who have been forcibly separated from their parents or legal guardians and those who cross the border together but who are unaccompanied.”

Patty Wight / Maine Public

A Honduran woman and her 10-year-old daughter who were detained at the border last month are now in Portland. 

Ringelstein Campaign

U.S. Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein was was released after posting a $1,000 bond early Saturday morning.

Ringelstein was arrested Friday outside of a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, after blocking access to a detention facility.

According to Ringelstein, the facility was holding immigrant children separated from their parents.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

President Trump may have signed an executive order to stop the forcible separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border, but Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree says that's not the end of the issue. For one thing, there are caveats to the order itself, and Pingree says they raise red flags.

Maine’s 1st District U.S. House Rep. Pingree and more than 20 other Democrats will visit federal detention facilities in Texas this weekend to investigate conditions for immigrant families separated at the border.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his controversial policy that has resulted in thousands of family separations and brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want," Trump said Wednesday morning, when he announced that he would sign the order.

CQ Roll Call file photo

Updated 4:17 p.m.

Republican Maine Congressperson Bruce Poliquin says immigrant children should "stay with their parents."

Weighing into the ongoing controversy about the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy of immigrants crossing the border, Poliquin made the impromptu comments when confronted by a Maine woman, identified as Marcella Makinen, at an airport. As Poliquin tried to walk away, she recorded the exchange on video which was then shared on Facebook Tuesday by the advocacy group Mainers for Accountable Leadership.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she opposes the Trump administration policy that has separated at least 2,000 immigrant children from their parents at the Mexico border, but that she is not on board with a Democratic bill that would force the administration to abandon a policy that has produced widespread condemnation.

Eric Gay / AP Photo

Maine 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree is co-sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the federal government from separating children from their parents at the country’s border.

“Basically it says there should be no separation and there should be a primary, you know, process of family reunification any time a child is separated,” Pingree says.

Pingree says she has heard from many Maine constituents who say they are outraged at the news that children are being separated from their parents when trying to enter the country.

Maine Public

Officials from Portland Public Schools are telling the community that they will not report students to immigration enforcement officials, and say their schools are a "safe haven" for children and families.

In a written message to families last week, Portland Supt. Xavier Botana said, "We want your children in our schools. We don't care what their immigration status is. And we believe that that's not just the right thing to do, but that's also the law."

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Gov. Paul LePage says that eight unaccompanied children who crossed the nation's border illegally have been placed in Maine.

LePage said Tuesday that he learned the information on a conference call with White House officials on Tuesday, but received no details on where the children are from or where they were placed.

LePage said President Barack Obama has failed to enforce border laws and says Maine can't be a state that ``encourages illegal immigration.''

Maine has no federal detention facilities.