I read Gayle Finkbeiner’s Maine Compass article on “Dreamers” wondering why this newspaper gave it the emphasis of a Maine Compass (“‘Dreamers’ deal bad for GOP, US,” Jan. 19). As a direction for Maine, this “compass” is obviously broken.

Moral questions aside, his position is factually unsound. Demographic information about Dreamers does not support his assertion that Dreamers are welfare-dependent. Nor does data support the idea that they are stealing jobs from Americans.

Anyone who reads the paper or watches the news knows that we have a huge labor scarcity problem. There simply aren’t enough people to fill the available jobs. Remember last year’s article on Maine resorts that had to close early because they didn’t have staff? That was just the tip of the iceberg.

I wonder what Finkbeiner’s reaction would be if his ancestors were not allowed to stay in this country and take jobs from “real Americans.” Our country is built on immigrants. Despite that, at various times people reacted as Finkbiener has, with bigotry based on “facts” that were not true. Two examples come immediately to mind: the French Catholics and the Irish.

The Ku Klux Klan found fertile ground in Maine in the 1920s to fight the influx of French Catholics who came to Maine for jobs in our growing industries. People said some very unkind things about these hardworking people.

And then there were the Irish, who were greeted with “No Irish Need Apply” signs in many businesses. People again said very unkind and inaccurate things about them too.

The success of the French and Irish immigrants is without question. If allowed, Dreamers will have the same success, as many of them have already demonstrated.

Dean Crocker

Estero, Fla., and Manchester

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