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Friday, Jan. 31, 2014: Immigration fix, Camden rehab facility

No amnesty

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama told Congress it’s time to “fix our broken immigration system.” While I agree with the president that immigration needs to be addressed, the solutions currently being proposed — which all include some form of amnesty — will not solve the problem but will actually perpetuate it. Here, instead, are two common sense solutions that liberals and conservatives can both agree would be a good place to start.

First, we need to establish real control over our borders. By not having adequate controls on our borders, we are being complicit in the deaths of thousands of illegal immigrants every year. We need to build fences. Build additional border crossings and staff them with additional Border Patrol agents.

Second, we must enforce our laws in the workplace. E-Verify needs to be mandatory and should be applied to all, including nonemployee, contract laborers. This would effectively remove the “jobs magnet.”

These two measures, if fully implemented, would be a great start to solving America’s problems with illegal immigration, but, to fully implement them, Americans need to let our leaders know that this is what we demand of them.

Amnesty is not the answer. If illegal immigrants flagrantly disregarded our laws to come here, what makes lawmakers think they will suddenly become law-abiding potential citizens? It is well known that millions of people from all over the world want to come to America. Those who want to share in our freedom and do everything legally must not be cheated out of the opportunity because we have too many illegal immigrants here.

Edward Richardson


Precious resources

The purpose of this letter is to implore the Camden Select Board not to follow the same path as the Portland City Council did with the Williston-West Church. After the city spent countless dollars and 19 months in litigation, the Maine Superior Court held that the special arrangement between the city council and a foreign investor violated Portland’s comprehensive plan and was inconsistent with the residential neighborhood in which the church was located.

The facts and circumstances of the Portland case are strikingly similar to the Fox Hill proposal, with the exception that Camden does not even allow conditional zoning agreements in the first place. As we repeatedly informed the planning board, the Fox Hill proposal is nothing more than a request for special treatment that violates Camden’s comprehensive plan and zoning code, greatly diminishes the value of the surrounding homes, places all of Camden’s neighborhoods at risk of commercial development and is unnecessary to begin with.

Camden already allows for hospitals to be located in the B-2 and B-3 zones, and McLean would certainly be welcome to build a suitable rehabilitation facility there. Board members should not risk burdening the taxpayers who elected them with the expense of defending a lawsuit, when the chances of a court victory are slim at best and the benefits of such victory are speculative, accruing mostly to a small group of investors from outside of Camden. It would be a waste of Camden’s precious resources, both financial and reputation.

Philip D. Fowler III


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