Much attention has rightly been paid to the recent “zero tolerance” and family separation, then family detention, policies implemented at the nation’s southern border.
However, these policies cannot be viewed in isolation. Since the very first week of this Administration, executive orders, regulatory changes, rescission of prior policies, and priority shifts have resulted in this immigrant nation becoming more hostile both to immigrants who are already part of our communities, and to those who might have wished to, but have not yet, come to the U.S.
In previous posts, MeBIC has noted the disconnect between our country’s need for immigrants, and policies that result in driving immigrants away and create an “invisible wall.” While there are ample humanitarian and moral reasons to be concerned about the direction of the Administration’s immigration policies, there is equal reason to be alarmed about its impact on the U.S. economy.
MeBIC voiced its concerns in a recent letter to Maine’s Congressional delegation. MeBIC’s director Beth Stickney also spoke at a rally in Portland that was part of a nationwide day of action on June 30, 2018 to urge our government to remember our immigrant heritage and our legal and moral obligation to allow those fleeing harm to have the opportunity to request safe haven in the U.S.
Immigrants of all kinds, whether coming to the U.S. to reunite with family, to work, or to be safe, such as the asylum seekers at our southern border, have built this country and will continue to do so, if we do not shut our doors to them. As our population ages and our birth rates shrink, it is not just in their interest that we welcome them, but in our own.