This is in response to your front-page Telegram article “Federal presence leaves some Mainers wary” (July 1):

I raised my family in Maine, and am now retired in Portland. I spent seven years (2007-14) living 14 miles from the Mexican border. Our town of 40,000 housed hundreds of Border Patrol agents and a military base. Every time we left our community, we went through a Border Patrol checkpoint. We did not mind. We were grateful for their watchful eye.

Checkpoints are normal in the Southwest – where you are just as much a U.S. citizen as you are in Maine. But here in Maine, we are insulated from the illegal migration problem.

We don’t have our homes broken into regularly by these desperate folks. We don’t have our outdoor faucets left running in the arid desert, where water is much more expensive and precious, by those who risking life to enter our country.

We haven’t lost a sheriff (Larry Dever) whose death has raised questions that it was actually a murder by the illegal-smuggling/human-trafficking network, threatened by the firm line that he took.

We don’t have garbage piles over 20 feet high filled with empty water jugs, blankets, spent cartridges, bread wrappers and food trash – all with foreign labels – abutting the trails that I hiked every week in the lovely mountains there.

We should not be wary – we should be thankful.

Elizabeth A. Smith


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