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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: Legislators thumb their noses at the wishes of Mainers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

How many readers can identify Darla Neugebauer? If the name looks familiar, but you still can’t identify her, let me give you a clue: Marcy’s Restaurant in Portland.

For the past week, the restaurant and owner have dominated the news. Neugebauer has also caused a firestorm on social media. Why? Because she slammed her hands on a counter and told an out-of-control two-year-old who was disrupting the restaurant to “shut up.”

With the media frenzy this has created, do you think there is a correlation between meaningless stories such as this, which dominates the news cycles, and low-functioning voters?

In an effort to incorporate their strictly altruistic views and policies, a group of progressive Republican and Democratic legislators have banned together and thumbed their noses at the Maine voters’ wish for comprehensive welfare reform. In their minds, these arrogant elitists feel they understand the problem by listening to the daily banter inside the confines of the State House as opposed to the average person who is exposed daily to welfare abuse.

In order to carry out these policies, they need a distraction—a distraction that will focus voters’ attention away from the real issue. An untruth repeatedly fed to the public is their attempt to create a politically and social-morality charged atmosphere. They demonize and marginalize anyone opposed to their “We’re educated, we know what’s right for you” policies.

They have focused on Governor Paul LePage, Senator Eric Brakey and myself for our opposition in using local and state money to support non-citizens, known as asylum seekers—a group whom our federal government neither recognizes nor will help.

Those who revel in making Maine an intake center for asylum seekers argue that Maine is aging and needs younger blood. They point out that many of these non-citizens hold degrees and are well educated. They are horrified over the small percentage of college degrees held by native Mainers. They lament as to how the state will move forward.

Easy! Maine in its heyday was built by many people with little or no education. Today, those with high school degrees are the builders, painters, electricians, plumbers and landscapers who build and maintain the houses, businesses and properties of those holding a college degree. Their earnings as non-degree professionals stay in their pocket, not used to pay off school loans.

Another thing that perplexes me is the fact that these “highly educated, professional non-citizens” have to depend on the support of local people to survive. They come to the United States on visitor or educational visas. It is my understanding that to obtain this type of visa, the issuing embassy must satisfy itself that those being issued the visa will return home when the time on their visa expires.

One of the things checked by each embassy is the financial health of those being issued a visa to ensure they are solvent. When a person arrives in the United States and asks for asylum, their finances are known by the federal government and should be shared with the local general assistance office in order to determine if, in fact, they need assistance.

Lastly, let me leave you with something to ponder. If it takes several weeks to obtain a visa, how much danger could one be in? Then, prior to leaving their native country on a commercial airliner, those coming on visas must run a gauntlet of government officials who rubberstamp their exit. How does this equate with their life being in imminent danger?

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