Michael Jose’s letter of Sept. 22 (”Trump has right view on immigration”) is off the mark.

Donald Trump’s immigration policy promotes: building a wall, prohibiting certain ethnic and religious groups from immigrating to the U.S. and mass deportation of unauthorized U.S. residents. He disregards the values our country was built on — hard work and opportunity, compassion and welcome.

Many responsible citizens and politicians across the political spectrum, however, recognize immigration as a powerful resource that can strengthen the U.S. on both an economic and moral plane. The U.S. needs comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship, policies that strengthen and reunite families while also enabling our business community to fill workforce needs for unskilled and skilled employees.

Despite Jose’s rhetoric, a comprehensive immigration policy does benefit “current Americans,” and indeed, “current Mainers.” On the same day that Jose’s letter was published, Yellow Light Breen, president of the Maine Development Foundation, and Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors joined together in a call to expand efforts to help immigrants integrate into society and the workplace. Current Mainers include families who have loved ones from whom they have been separated. That’s not in line with American values.

Trump’s policies reflect a dangerous xenophobia, an irrational fear that promotes building a very expensive wall between Mexico and the U.S. Walls don’t work; not in China, Israel or Germany. The Berlin Wall was built to keep West Germans out of East Germany, but what it really did was keep East Germans in and stunt the economy.

Finally, it’s ironic that Jose quotes from Bertolt Brecht’s poem, “The Solution.” Brecht wrote the poem to express his opposition to both the Nazi and Stalinist regimes: both promoted policies similar to those of Donald Trump.

Mark Russo


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