I have always thought that the president’s chief responsibility was the safety and protection of the citizens of the United States. It’s called national security.

“With respect to immigration, essentially the problem boils down to the question, Is the person a threat or not? It is important to emphasize that this question must be asked if the government is to perform its proper function. That is why there must be some immigration policy. The idea of a completely open border with nothing but a welcome sign would represent a violation of this principle. Such an ‘open’ policy provides no means for the government to ascertain whether persons are invading or immigrating, much less whether they are known criminals or carry infectious disease.” (Doug Reich, Aug. 28, 2015, Capitalist Magazine).

Immigration is dividing our country. Our new president, elected on the promise to do something to protect us from terrorism and illegal immigration, is doing what he said he would do. He is taking action. If you believe the Islamic State group’s claims of utilizing our compassion and open arms to immigrants to infiltrate us with the express purpose of our destruction, then you should support President Donald Trump’s effort to protect us.

The new president simply proposes a temporary travel ban (90 days) on immigrants entering America from seven geographic areas, countries identified by former president Barack Obama as terrorist training grounds. This time would be used to assess the problem and to develop new, stronger vetting procedures to hopefully screen entry of any immigrants dangerous to the U.S. Simultaneously, the president has directed increased enforcement efforts against illegal border crossings, and will erect barriers both structural and technological. We are not a nation if we have no borders.

President Trump is trying to do exactly what he promised and what is favored by a majority of Americans concerned with looming anticipation of further homeland terrorist attacks.

There are estimates that as many as 20 million immigrants who came over the border without legal permission already reside here, and 600 come across the Mexican border daily. More than a million new “green cards” are issued annually.

This week, a leader of the California Senate introduced a bill to make that state a “sanctuary state” providing amnesty to all illegal immigrants. Senate leader Kevin de Leon revealed in a speech from the Senate floor that he, “half my family” and just about every immigrant that he knew has secured some sort of false identification in order to be in the United States. DeLeon said, “They got a false Social Security card, they got a false identification, they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB 60, they got a false green card and anyone who has family members who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification.” (CBSLA.com).

The presumption of innocence of immigrants is a violation of the principle of self-defense.

In Reich’s treatise, quoted previously in this column, he makes an additional point. Even individuals without criminal records wishing to immigrate here are seeking to cross our legally established border from an area that may or may not share the same principles of law. It is our government’s primary function to ascertain whether they present a threat. Our goal should be to define a policy that determines what constitutes an objective threat and decide upon that basis whom to allow into our country.

Locally, several central Maine municipal governments have recently taken ill-conceived positions against President Trump’s attempt to keep his promise to protect all of us. One local political leader even declared her desire to turn the city into a “sanctuary city.”

Be careful what you wish for in your well-meaning display of concern for those wishing to flee dangerous homelands. I share your compassion and strongly believe in the value of legal immigration. But let’s use common sense to reform immigration into a carefully balanced new policy protecting all of us, while guaranteeing opportunity to deserving new citizens often bringing valuable new talent to America.

Borders with improperly screened immigration puts us all at risk, including the millions of new neighbors already welcomed here from other countries.

The federal government and the president is where immigration policy rightfully belongs — it is a national issue. Give the new president a chance to get it right.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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