If it’s acceptable to spend $5.7 billion to build a wall along the Mexican border, why couldn’t that money be spent to aid the countries from which the immigrants are fleeing? Help reconstruct their countries to provide safety for those families seeking improved lifestyles in America. Wouldn’t people prefer to stay in their own country if there were the same types of opportunity for upward mobility in South America?

If their own country offered similar possibilities, wouldn’t they stay at home where they know the people, language and customs? People who move thousands of miles and withstand deprivation do so looking for better lives, not just for the opportunity to learn a new language.

Can America help these countries stabilize economies and make life safe and rewarding to the indigenous population? Wouldn’t that secure more impressive bragging rights than a wall? Isn’t that a more kindly American solution than acting like a prison guard keeping people where they belong?

I would think Americans would feel better helping people rather than telling them to stay in a situation where they and their children must suffer risk and impoverishment.

Politicians need to know that people here are tired of the claims that the country is being invaded; weary of fearing that this country is being taken over by “others.”

Elected officials should understand that people just want to get on with their lives and enjoy the fruits of their own labor. Why must we continually guard against real and imagined threat?

Andrew Tasker, Lewiston