The latest proposal by the Trump regime, to extend the waiting period for a work permit from 150 days to one year for so-called illegal asylum seekers, is simply a means to punish persons seeking asylum for daring to do so. It is a vindictive, cruel, unjust and immoral act unworthy of anyone daring to call themselves civilized human beings.

Is that too harsh? Not when one considers what these persons have already suffered in order to reach the United States. When they arrive, they are willing to work, though language can be a temporary barrier. Yet already they face a six-month delay after filing their asylum application, plus the time it takes for approval of the work permit, before they can be gainfully employed. Many feel shamed by having to avail themselves of social services, food banks and food programs such as Wayside.

The feeble excuse for this proposed change is that time must be made for “legal” asylum seekers, yet the government has made every effort to shut down all means of applying for asylum legally. It is barbaric to impose further hardships on people fleeing atrocities and demonstrates a lack of human compassion and any concept of justice.

I am glad to see Rep. Chellie Pingree and Sen. Angus King oppose this move, but it requires a much more concerted effort on the part of ordinary citizens to protest the injustice being committed in our name.

Donald Rudalevige

Cape Elizabeth

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