As society struggles to find common ground during these very difficult days, it was disheartening to read the hateful remarks made by Republican candidates for Congress during their recent “debate” (Sun Journal, June 17).

The headline said that the candidates were getting “tough” on immigration.

Dale Crafts said, “It’s a disaster” that “people come to our country who are changing our way of life and changing our culture.”

Candidate Adrienne Bennett whined that immigrants are “cutting in line ahead of native Mainers.”

Not wanting to be undone, Eric Brakey supports building a wall along our border and “pointing our guns south.”

Those candidates, in their vitriolic rhetoric, seem to have forgotten that the state of Maine was built by the families of immigrants and on the skills and values that they brought to the state.

Franco-American communities from Madawaska to Lewiston to Augusta to Biddeford still stand strong today. Immigrants from Canada and Arcadia are ancestors to many people here. That is also true for Lebanese descendants in Waterville, the Greek population in Saco, Swedish families in New Sweden, and the multitude of refugees and “new Mainers” who have been welcomed to (and who have strengthened) Portland and Lewiston-Auburn.

It is crucial, in this time of healing, that we continue to value all who have come before us and welcome those who seek peace and safety among us.

Irving Faunce, Wilton

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