Maine is an aging state whose most educated and ambitious young people regularly leave for city lights or more sparkly opportunities.
Immigrants are people — many of them young — who actually want to be here.
I am an immigrant. I've been grateful to be here for 32 years and have paid taxes all that time, contributing to the economy.
The legal immigrant who is given help for a year or two could be an entrepreneur who needs to get on her feet before paying substantial taxes. He could be your grandchildren's math teacher who needs a year to work on language skills. She could be an engineer who hasn't found a job yet. He could be the LPN who looks after you in the nursing home, but who doesn't get benefits with the job.
It's incredibly short-sighted not to extend a helping hand to the future tax base of this state, quite apart from the xenophobic message it sends to the rest of the country.
Mary Hunter, Lewiston