I had a chance to visit Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin in their Washington, D.C., offices recently and urged them not to support President Trump’s ill-conceived and wasteful border wall.

It is my hope that our Maine congressional delegation will urge this administration to fund practical and effective border security that will actually stop drug cartels and illegal trafficking. Trump’s border wall will do nothing but waste our money and cause irreparable damage to our southern borderland communities and environment.

We would be better served by taking advantage of advances in technology, such as drones and other surveillance measures, which are less destructive and more easily maintained, managed and used effectively against illegal trafficking. The majority of illegal trafficking and illegal immigration occurs at ports of entry, and a wall in remote areas will serve only as an expensive, ineffective and absurd speed bump.

The southern borderlands are home to some of the most beautiful ecologically diverse ecosystems in North America, and Trump’s wall would completely bisect these lands, cutting off migratory corridors for wildlife and fragmenting essential habitat as it tears through wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, national monuments, national forests, national parks, key riparian areas, floodplains, water courses and the private property of U.S. citizens.

Maine should not support Trump wasting our money on a hollow, poorly conceived and irresponsible campaign promise to build a wall – an archaic, fear-driven and ineffective form of security. It won’t help us. The estimated $21.6 billion cost (other estimates put this figure much higher) should be used to repair our failing infrastructure, roads, airports and old water systems, and to responsibly secure ports of entry, as Border Patrol has indicated will be the most effective way to keep us all safer.

Sarah Loftus