I thank Sen. Roger Katz (letter, Feb. 25) for pointing out the importance of more state support for English language education for new Mainers. He rightly reminds people how much everyone in the state depends on their ability to learn how to live here and contribute to local communities and economy.

He also rightly notes that Sen. Larry Lockman’s fears of a “war on whites” (Sun Journal, Feb. 18) rest on old and thoroughly discredited ideas about immigrants.

Sen. Lockman’s ideas also rested on an apparent aversion to evidence. In arguing that Maine should focus on English-speaking immigrants, he noted that most new arrivals in Maine in 2017 came from other states. He then claimed, “it is a safe bet most, if not all, of these new Mainers are English-speaking U.S. citizens.”

I have not found any evidence to support that “bet.” In fact, what I have learned suggests the opposite. Although I could find no evidence for 2017, according to the U.S. Census, most of Maine’s population growth, 2010-2016, was foreign born. Furthermore, according to the Migration Policy Institute, 60 percent of those foreign-born arrivals were from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Perhaps Sen. Lockman has evidence to support his claims. However, if he is going to advocate for policies that will shape the current and future residents of this state, I would appreciate it if he showed people that evidence.

Save the betting for the casinos.

Joseph Hall, Auburn

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