The June 12 Maine Sunday Telegram article “State health officials don’t collect immigration status of Mainers with infectious diseases” (Page A1) mentions Gov. LePage’s repeated assertions that asylum seekers are bringing diseases to Maine. Yet the executive director of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project and available data refute the governor’s claim.

Coincidentally, another front-page story that day featured 11 students graduating this month from high schools throughout Maine. Three came to the United States as refugees, after harrowing years of persecution, fear, turmoil and loss of family. Another student, a top pupil at a school in India, received a scholarship to finish high school in the U.S.

These students were selected and honored for their high grade point achievement and their desire to give back to their communities after completing advanced studies in science and medicine, women’s health and mechanical and electrical engineering. What these students have brought to Maine is courage, determination, a desire to learn and a commitment to give back.

Perhaps the governor will finally reconsider his assessment of what immigrants bring to Maine.

Marcel Gagnon

Sanford