In all this palaver about immigrants, legal or illegal, low-skilled or professionals, what is the distinction between the words “immigrant” and “refugee”? My understanding is that immigrants choose where they want to go while refugees will go anywhere – anywhere! – that bombs are not exploding and heads are not being cut off.

Therefore, an immigrant may indeed have marketable skills to offer his new country. He may have had the opportunity, and the smarts, to learn the new language. A refugee may or may not have the skills – I’ve read of Syrians who were physicians in their homeland, reduced to driving taxis here because the U.S. doesn’t accept their credentials. I’ve read of Somalis who are gifted with computers but must turn to farming, because their skills are a drag on the U.S. market. Not that farming isn’t valuable, requiring certain skills and qualities (such as patience), nor remunerative in a good year. Are artists and craftsmen not of value to us? They can bring us new aesthetic points of view.

The point is, the greater percentage of the world’s people, moving from home nations to new ones in the 21st century, is literally on the run. Sweden? Northern Maine? What’s a little snow to someone who has been afflicted by white hot ashes?

Therefore, my question regarding the new, enlightened immigration measure backed by Donald Trump is: Do we accept only those who want to come here for economic advantage (to themselves and to the U.S.), while we slam the gates against terror-torn, uprooted ordinary guys, who only want a haven where they are not constantly in fear for their lives?

Joanna Cameron

Edgecomb