If government is "just another word for those things we all do together," these Democrats missed the memo.

As Congress and the White House mull a federal response to the surge of illegal immigration on the southwest border, here's a list of four Democratic governors who support letting illegal immigrants stay — as long as they stay somewhere else:*

1. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

O'Malley, who's currently plotting a presidential bid in 2016, worries Maryland residents won't be receptive to an influx of alien children. Officials from his office pointed toward graffiti spray-painted on a building proposed as a migrant shelter as demonstrative of Maryland's hostility to illegal immigration. The governor told CNN he asked the White House to scuttle plans to send minor immigrants to a site in western Maryland.

Still, they have his sympathy. O'Malley recently said he feels "heartbreak" for the parents of children who crossed the desert under threat of death. "It is contrary to everything we stand for to try to summarily send children back to death," he added.

2. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper defeated anti-immigration firebrand Tom Tancredo when first elected governor in 2010, in a contest in which illegal immigration was a prominent issue. The governor expressed support for a pathway to citizenship, and attacked his opponent for his hard-line stance.

As the present crisis unfolds, Hickenlooper's thinking, like that of all good liberals, has evolved just months before he will stand for re-election. "People -- our citizens already feel burdened by all kinds of challenges," he told a recent meeting of the National Governors Association. "They don't want to see another burden coming into their state."

3. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy

Malloy's administration recently denied the General Services Administration's request to house 2,000 migrant children in a facility at Southbury. Unrelated: Malloy faces a tough fight for re-election this year.

4. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported the White House had reached out to a number of states, asking if they had facilities suitable for housing immigrant populations, including Delaware. Gov. Markell told the Journal the U.S. "should take a hard look at ... what we can do to be sure that as these kids get sent back they're going back to places that are going to be safer."

Other Democrats have been entirely reticent to take a stance publicly on the issue. The Virginia Watchdog's Kathryn Watson reports Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife remains silent on the issue, while California Gov. Jerry Brown was forced to quickly clarify a strange boast during a speech at the annual American Federation of Teachers convention. "Be the way, they [illegal immigrants] may come in through Texas because they have so many holes in the border down there, but they usually want to get over to California as fast as they can because stuff is happening here," Brown said, drawing laughter from the audience.

"I'm not saying I'm encouraging that," he rushed to add.

*When will MSNBC call them anti-immigrant?