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.