University of Maine at Farmington student Milly Mpundu’s guest column about U.S Immigration and Customs enforcement and the Border Patrol is disturbing, in that the author seems totally unaware we are a sovereign nation, with a Constitution and laws, and we are defined by our  borders (“Abusive practices by US ICE must stop,” Nov. 27).

The abuse by ICE and the Border Patrol includes an allegation that the mounted Border Patrol used “whips” in controlling a group of undocumented migrants. They used the horses’ split reins, but “whips” becomes an incendiary allusion to slave plantations.

The Border Patrol prevents illegal entry into the country, and while abuse occurs, the outcry is often one-sided. There is another side, the one of enforcement and humanitarian actions by these underappreciated officials.

Here are some examples taken from daily bulletins sent out by ICE and the Border Patrol that show their humanitarian and enforcement actions:

Laredo Sector Border Patrol Rescues Two Children in the Rio Grande River,” Laredo, Texas; “Agents Rescue Struggling Migrant in the All-American Canal,” Calexico, California; “Convicted Sex Offender Arrested by Border Patrol Agents,” Calexico, Calif.; “Four MS-13 Gang Members Arrested in the Rio Grande Valley Within 14 Hours,” Edinburg, Texas; “Brownsville Port of Entry CBP Officers Seize $107K in Cocaine at Veterans International Bridge,” Brownsville, Texas.

These incidents occurred during October and November, and are representative of what happens on a regular basis.


The author of the guest column, who may be unaware of this aspect of the chaos at the border, implies there should be free entry into our country — open borders — but with open borders, even more of the criminal arrests cited above will occur, and we don’t know how many evade apprehension.

While I can understand the reasons for people under duress wanting to come here, we are — as mentioned — a nation, and we have a right and obligation to our ourselves, and our fellow citizens, to know who comes into our nation, preferably legally, and in an orderly fashion.

The United States may be “known to have the most significant intake of undocumented immigrants worldwide,” but this is not acceptable. We also have granted, legally, more than one million green cards annually for the past 20 years (“2019 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics,” Department of Homeland Security).

I certainly agree that “These people (asylum seekers) are human beings.” I have seen this from my 10 trips to the border, starting in 2005 and most recently in 2018. I have seen the anguish on their faces as they sit, handcuffed, after being arrested by the Border Patrol.

I know, I understand, but we are a sovereign nation and we must have control of our borders and an orderly immigration system.

Bob Casimiro, executive director, Mainers for Responsible Immigration, Bridgton

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