Maine and the border crisis

By Dale E. Landrith Sr. | Jan 17, 2019

As I write this, we are in the midst of a partial federal government shutdown with the issue revolving entirely around unrestricted immigration across the southern border between the United States and Mexico. The focus is on whether to build a wall along portions of that southern border. That southern border seems a very far distance from us in Maine. Does it really matter or have any consequences for Mainers?

A recent article in the Portland Press Herald ("Asylum seekers travel to Portland in droves, overwhelming city services – Dec. 23, 2018) indicates that the problem is real in Maine. While the article indicates that those arriving in Portland are asylum-seekers, they are still people who succeed or attempt to succeed in crossing in an unrestricted manner, avoiding the designated official entry points.

What is the big deal about building a wall? Does it work? Is it the cost? Is it racist or bigoted? Is it political? There are already a number of sections of a wall along that border and they have been proven to be effective in deterring unauthorized crossing. These sections of the wall or barriers are built very high and are very formidable. While one may say that a higher wall just means that one needs a taller ladder, reality is that there is no ladder on the other side. Individuals may defeat the wall, but mass crossings are greatly inhibited.

What about cost? Many of the naysayers would have us believe that the number of $5.7 billion that is being tossed around seems like an exorbitant amount of money. It is an enormous amount of money to everyday, regular folks. However, the amount should be considered in the context of total federal government expenditures. The federal government will spend approximately $4.4 trillion in 2019. How does $5.7 billion relate to that amount? These amounts are so staggering that it is impossible to relate to them. How can we understand? The median income of wage earners in Maine is estimated to be $53,079. If we compare $5.7 billion to $4.4 trillion and apply the same percentage to Maine’s median income, the comparative amount would be $68.76, which is insignificant compared to the total. In context the cost being requested for wall construction is minuscule. Cost is not the issue.

While many liberals want to portray the wall as racist or bigoted, that is not reality. For centuries those emigrating to America developed a particular culture. For decades we have admitted immigrants to our country and insisted that they adopt our language, our system of government, our laws and our free enterprise system. Asians, Eastern Europeans, Western Europeans, Africans, Central Americans and South Americans came and were welcomed. They assimilated. This is called adopting the American culture.

The current torrent coming over the southern border is not doing so. They bring the flags of their home countries with them. This is a future disaster for the American way. For those who think I exaggerate, I would suggest that they take the advice of many liberals. Look at Europe. The clashes and riots in France, England and Germany. The socialist utopias of Sweden and Norway now look into how to not only stop, but send migrants back to where they came from.

What is left to fuel the controversy? Politics! As recently as a few years ago, the politicians who are decrying the building of a wall actually voted in favor of it. Who? Obama, Schumer, Pelosi and Durbin are a few. Bills in Congress actually passed that funded the building of a wall, and with much larger dollar amounts than is now being debated. The welfare of our country is being held hostage by politicians because of hate. The hate of our current president, Donald J. Trump! These same politicians had better be careful. This president was elected in great part because he promised to control illegal immigration.

How does this affect us in Maine? The effect will be felt in culture and cost. Culture has already been discussed. However, Maine has long been known for being resistant to outside culture. There is and will be a strong cultural clash.

There will also be a huge cost to taxpayers. Our new governor has already moved to expand Medicaid. Did she include the new noncitizens in that expenditure? I think not. We have just had eight years of getting some semblance of control over our welfare system. Noncitizens coming in droves will overwhelm the system and send costs spiraling. Neither cultural clash nor cost is going to be something we should have to endure.

Comments (15)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 24, 2019 07:19

I'm sorry, Ken.  Is this all a distraction from your obsession with Obama's fence?  Can you not come up with an answer to why the Republicans didn't build trump's wall when they had the power, or why he didn't shut down the government when they didn't?  Which hand are we dealing with here.  Go ahead.  Pick one.

So, you want to talk taxes, do you, Ken?  Ask yourself how much or your taxes has trump wasted on golfing trips to his Florida resort?  If the military couldn't afford Pelosi's trip to vist our troops then how could we afford Melania's trip to Florida the day after?  For that fact how come the billion and a half tax dollars for border securiy in the last budget haven't even been spent yet?  But plenty of other tax dollars have been spent:

Cost of Mueller's investigation:  $3,200,000

Benghazi "investigation:" $7,000,000

Trump's golfing Trips: $83,000,000

New debt from Republican tax bill:  $1,500,000,000,000


And who do you think is going to make up for that "new" debt, Ken?  Hint:  you will.

Palm Beach Mayor Says They May Have to Raise Taxes to Pay for President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Visits

"Forbes contributor Niall McCarthy published an article on Wednesday, titled: “Trump’s Family Trips Cost Taxpayers Nearly As Much In A Month As Obama’s Cost In A Whole Year.”

"I have brilliantly used laws to pay no more taxes than is legally required. Or to put another way, to pay as little taxes as legally possible."  -Donald Trump, October 2016

Of course we can't know how much trump is really costing this country until the Dems force him to reveal his tax returns which he won't release for obvious reasons.

"Fox News contributor George Will offered up a surprising reason for Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

The questions surrounding Trump’s hesitance to release his returns are likely to only increase after Will’s most recent suggestion, which is that the returns will prove that Trump “is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs.”

So, I guess we won't know how much trump is costing us -or stealing from us, as is usually the case- until Mueller presents his evidence and this tragic stain on our history is finally wiped clean.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 23, 2019 21:40

I'll stick to the argument at hand.  The democratic play book is pay attention to this hand while my other hand is in your wallet increasing taxes.  You claimed the wall/fence around Obama's house didn't exsist.  The article and picture in your post shows the tops of the wall/fence actually is there!  You can worry about Russia, Cuba, China, Or Fiji.  It doesn't matter to me.  I am focused on my tax dollars.  Which by the way was paid for with our tax dollars right?

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 23, 2019 18:23

Well, Ken, as long as you're still in this argument please tell us why trump and his Republican dominated government for the last two years didn't build his wall then?  Maybe there was no need for a manufactured crisis to distract from the tsunami of evidence from the Russian investigation that's bearing down on him now.  Maybe he needed a government shut down to stall all the other investigations on trump family wrong doing that are closing in on him.  Or maybe he got an explicit order from his Kremlin bosses to do as much damage as possible to American influence, alliances, and economic clout before the crap really hits the fan and Putin loses his most favored mole.  According to Forbes trump's trade war has already cost the US $35 billion.


Trump's Tariffs Are Siphoning $35 Billion From Consumers And Corporations


We can only guess at how much the shut down is costing us, though I'm sure it's way more than what trump wants for his useless wall.


As for who gets to build the wall, well, we know who trump's friends are, don't we.  Rest assured they're no friends of the US.


"The steel slats trump wants t use for his "wall of shame" are manufactured in the US by a steel mill co-owned by a Russian-Israeli billionaire named Roman Abramovich.  No suprise, Abramovich is close friends with trump and Putin This also explains why trump put a tariff on steel from other countries.  He eliminated any all competition, guaranteeing Abramovich the contract.

The wall is not about security.  It's a smoke screen.  It is a shady business deal between trump and Russia. It is about money.  When trump is involved, it is always about money.  He's lining his pockets, and the pockets of our enemies...  "



I guess you missed that bit in an earlier post.  It does explain much doesn't it.  The truth is that illegal immigration is way down from Obama's time and the only "crisis" we're experiencing is the one in the oval office, a crisis created by trump, for trump, and serving no one's interest but Putin's.


"Donald Trump may or not be on the Russian government’s payroll.

He may or may not have been blackmailed by Vladimir Putin.

He may or may not have actively colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

But there’s one thing we know for sure: Donald Trump has been compromised by Russia."

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 23, 2019 08:49

“The bill before us will certainly do some good,” Obama said on the Senate floor in October 2006. He praised the legislation, saying it would provide “better fences and better security along our borders” and would “help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country.”


Obama was talking about the Secure Fence Act of 2006, legislation authorizing a barrier along the southern border passed into law with the support of 26 Democratic senators including party leaders like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer.

It must kill you to read democrats supporting this idea?  Trump wants to follow up and grow this democratic approved idea so are you apposed to something Obama, Clinton,Biden, and Shumer all voted to approve strengthening our borders?   See this wasn't Trumps idea,  It was a bipartisan idea to secure the borders.  Trump just decided to finish what BOTH parties decided to start!


Re-read who's quote that thinks better fences and security along our borders would help stem the tide of illegal immigration into this country.  Obama agreed with it over a decade ago and no one has had the where with all to finish the job until Trump.  I'll give you the fact that it wasn't Trumps idea though.  Bottom line is who's company gets the contract to build it???  Bush and Trump's friends or Obama,Biden, Clinton, and Schumer's friends.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 23, 2019 07:39

Well, Ken, point made, I suppose.  Certainly there is "something" there.  If you want to call it a wall in order to make a very weak point, well, go ahead.  Trump calls a lot of things something that they are not.  In fact he lies with every word out of his mouth.  So, if he can do it I suppose his supporters can -and do- as well.  I guess if one of the workman on Obama's "wall" was hispanic you could also say that "Mexico" built his wall.  You could stretch out this nonsense to what ever absurd point trump would like.  Trump has no bottom after all.  Why should anyone else.  And so we all ride this right wing spiral into trump's gutter.


"He can't make a coherent argument.  He's incompetent.  That incompetence, along with his ingrained, pathological narcissism, leaves us with a president who does little more than spout nonsense and lies, and pander to those who feed his egotistic needs.  And all of this makes rational governance impossible."  -George Conway @gtconway3d

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 22, 2019 17:49

If you had looked at the sites that were cut and pasted it shows a ten foot fence!.  Even the neighbor's quote you posted it was "tasteful".  I never said the house was not "visible from the street".  I will give you "wall" is not solid but it is a structure standing 10ft from the ground.  Just like the southern border is a fence. it what you want but it is a structure (tasteful by neighbors standards) that stands 10ft tall to control access to the property.  The one thing you can not call it is, "not there".

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 22, 2019 16:54

Oh, really?


Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. He is wrong.



"Trump’s assertion came as a surprise to two of the Obamas' neighbors Monday, who told The Washington Post that there is no such wall. The 8,200-square-foot structure, despite several security features, is completely visible from the street.

A neighbor, a longtime resident of the area who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their privacy, said Trump “has a very active imagination.”

“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have,” the neighbor said. “It’s tastefully done.”


Good luck with the pictures next time, Ken.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 22, 2019 14:21

I was responding to you telling the author he was reporting "Fake News"  You owe him an apology because you said the was no wall around Obama's house which is a blatant untruth.  You can bury that fact in any manor you want, BUT the bottom line was you spewed so called facts like a true bully.  You said there was NO WALL!  That a wall was Fake News!  WHO is the real person spreading Fake News.  You can point fingers at Trump HOWEVER you must accept the FACT that you, yourself, tried to bully a response of Fake News.  Belittling how there was no wall.  That action puts you in the exact group Trump is in just on the left promoting Fake News as Trump is on the right..

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 22, 2019 10:52

As you say, Ken, "Would ANYONE be naive enough to believe the Secret Service would allow not having any sort of fence to protect a former president?"  Of course not, but how many asylum seekers will be lining up behind Obama's "fence?"  If there were any I'm sure he would welcome them in a reasonable, humanitarian manner, not kidnap and imprison their children.  But then his wall isn't a monument to racism, an effort to keep brown people out while white people simply waltz across the border from Canada or fly in from Europe and over stay their visas.  Think about it


"As the shambolic Trump presidency caroms and lurches into Year Three, a shameful governing philosophy has emerged: cruelty for cruelty’s sake.

Let us take stock:

Roughly one-quarter of the federal government has been closed for a month, in the longest shutdown in U.S. history. An estimated 800,000 employees are either furloughed or being forced to work without pay, as well as untold contract workers who also are idled. Prospects for a near-term solution to the impasse between President Trump and Congress range all the way from dim to dimmer.

Imagine going a month without a paycheck. Imagine lining up the bills and deciding which get paid and which don’t — mortgage or rent, electricity, heating. Imagine having to commute to work at an “essential” government job and trying to scrape together enough money for gas or bus fare.

All of these hardships, and many more, are being inflicted on hardworking public servants for no earthly reason. From the beginning, Democrats have taken a reasonable position: Keep the government open, and let’s have a debate and a negotiation about border security. Trump agreed — until far-right pundits accused him of abandoning his border wall, which everyone knows will never be built.

So Trump made federal workers — and other citizens who depend on government services — into sacrificial lambs whose blood is an offering to the Trumpist base. Negotiations about a solution are at a standstill because Trump’s self-proclaimed negotiation prowess comes down to taunts and tweets. The next time you take a flight, hope that the agents who inspect passengers’ luggage and the traffic controllers who guide pilots through the sky are thinking about their work, not worrying how to make ends meet.

Meanwhile, we learned last week that the sadistic policy of separating would-be immigrants from their children has been far more extensive, and more shocking, than anyone suspected.

There was bipartisan uproar last year when it was disclosed that more than 2,000 children had been effectively kidnapped by our government in a mean and cynical attempt to deter undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers. Now, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services reports that the family separations began in 2017 and that “thousands” more children were taken from their parents.

So haphazard and uncaring was this outrageous policy that there exists no full accounting of who these children are, where they are or whether they were ever reunited with their families. There is not even enough solid information for the inspector general to be more specific than “thousands” about the number.

Trump claims his imaginary wall is needed to address a “humanitarian crisis” at the border. The crisis is real, but it is of Trump’s own deliberate creation. Given the administration’s combination of malice and incompetence, it is safe to assume that some of the children whom we snatched away will never see their parents again. They are mere props that let Trump demonstrate how far he will go to punish Latinos for daring to seek safer, better lives.

Trump cruelly gives the cold shoulder to those around the world who advocate respect for human rights. Perhaps Trump thinks this is how his base wants him to act. Perhaps his own myriad insecurities lead him to falsely equate callous indifference with strength.

Whatever the reason, he does not even pay lip service to the struggle for freedom, dignity and due process in countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Philippines. Public pressure from a U.S. president — which costs nothing, in terms of domestic political support — can save the lives of activists and journalists who heroically labor to hold autocratic governments accountable. Cold silence from a U.S. president can be fatal.

Such gratuitous cruelty is really this administration’s only consistent policy. Trump tried his best, for example, to destroy the Affordable Care Act, not because he had a better idea about how to provide health care but apparently because he can’t abide anything with President Barack Obama’s name on it. He failed but, in the process, weakened Obamacare enough to make it less effective and more expensive.

Why would Trump injure innocent consumers? Why hurt stockholders of companies led by chief executives he does not like? Why seek to deny desperately needed help to Puerto Rico, where some politicians have been critical of Trump?

Why? Because he can.

Above all else, Trump is a bully. Like all schoolyard tyrants, he tries to project great strength to mask internal weakness. But remember the one universal truth about bullies: The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

-By Eugene Robinson


And that fall is coming soon.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 21, 2019 15:14

Well the pics do not post, but a quick search on the internet which Ron seems well versed in doing, shows Obama's house pre-construction that shows fake news no 10 foot walls.   Then if a person wants to accept the real fence, brand new pictures of today's ten foot wall with pictures of the wall being built.  The pics are real and during the construction phase shows a nice new brick wall being built.  The bricks show grown men cleaning down the new bricks with muratic acid with brushes cleaning the bricks so high a long handle brush is needed.when completed.  Then pics continue as the walls construction is built with iron rods between the bricks creating a ten foot wall.  The 10 wall was built PLUS a security building for the secret service!  Which is fake news?????  Claiming there is NO 10 foot wall because there was no wall in pictures that are from 2016....OR  Is it fake news because there NOW is a 10 foot wall?  I suppose it is all in which side of the fence you want to be!


Thought an international news source might help a non-voting perspective


Would ANYONE be naive enough to believe the Secret Service would allow not having any sort of fence to protect a former president?  I suppose the Secret Service for former presidents could be fake news but having been to Kennebunkport I know it is not fake news.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 21, 2019 14:17

Obama wall pre-constuction


Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jan 21, 2019 14:15

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 19, 2019 15:34

Oh, Dale, didn't you get the memo?  Obama's "ten foot wall" is more of trump's fake news.  It doesn't exist, along with numerous other trump claims about almost anything, but as a trump supporter I'm not surprised you didn't hear that.  Fox news would hardly be a reliable source for anything resembling the truth.

And open borders is an old idea.  It was promoted most strongly by the corporate state that believed money and political influence shouldn't be stopped at any border therefore giving them the power to bully smaller nations into surrendering their resources on the pretense of acceptability into the modern world. It hasn't worked but then no one is surprised.  I wouldn't count too much on trump's boasts about the trade deal with Mexico either.  He hasn't especially racked up a reputation for knowing anything about economics, unless it's how to bankrupt a business, cheat investors, and stiff his employees.  Isn't that what he's doing to the entire country now?

As for China's advice, well, they did build the biggest and longest wall in history.  That didn't work as well, failing to keep out either the Mongols or the Manchu's.  And since it didn't work they're probably right about how to deal with the world outside one's borders.

So it goes in trump world.  You just keep believing the BS that flows like a mud slide out of the oval office these days, Dale.  It will keep you warm long after the stench of trump has been fumigated out of the white house.  When even the staunchest conservative minds can't stomach trump it's good to know that "true believers" are willing to go down with the sinking ship.

" It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory."  -George Will

Posted by: Dale E. Landrith Sr. | Jan 19, 2019 09:26

I was nervous Ron.  It took you a couple of days to respond and I thought there for a moment that you might have trouble disagreeing with my thoughts.  However, in your response you include Obama's "ringed by walls" speech before the United Nations.  It is interesting that the speech was an endorsement of complete open borders.  Americans are certainly not in favor of that.  Also I did not realize that when Obama had a ten foot high wall built around his residence in Washington, D.C. that he was intending to imprison himself in, although that might be a good idea.

Incidentally there are some who think the new trade deal with Mexico will in fact create new funding for the U. S. that would pay for the wall.

Do you advocate that we seek China for advice on whether or not there should be a wall.  That is certainly a country that has our best interests at heart.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jan 19, 2019 07:19

"Build a wall of steel, a wall as high as heaven against immigrants."
-1924 Klu Klux Klan convention

"Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity.  If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome."  -Gen. George S. Patton

"The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls," -Chinese state media

"Mexico will pay for the wall.”  -Donald Trump

"From his fairy-tale wall to his schoolyard bullying and his flirtation with violent racists, Donald Trump offers America a singular narrative – a tale of cowards. Fearful people, convinced of our inadequacy, trembling before a world alight with imaginary threats, crave a demagogue. Neither party has ever elevated to this level a more toxic figure, one that calls forth the darkest elements of our national character."  -Republican Chris Ladd, a Texan who runs the website, who has decided to leave the Republican party.

"Today a nation ringed by walls, would only imprison itself," -Barack Obama

"The steel slats trump wants t use for his "wall of shame" are manufactured in the US by a steel mill co-owned by a Russian-Israeli billionaire named Roman Abramovich.  No suprise, Abramovich is close friends with trump and Putin This also explains why trump put a tariff on steel from other countries.  He eliminated any all competition, guaranteeing Abramovich the contract.

The wall is not about security.  It's a smoke screen.  It is a shady business deal between trump and Russia. It is about money.  When trump is involved, it is always about money.  He's lining his pockets, and the pockets of our enemies...  "

If you wish to comment, please login.