1/31/18, by Rep. Larry Lockman,
Is Maine’s population too old and too white?
That question isn’t even up for debate among the Leftist elites in Maine politics and academia, not to mention what remains of the Fake News industry here. These legions of social-justice gladiators are absolutely convinced that Maine is way too old and way too white.
To fix Maine’s “whiteness” problem, Leftist legislators are proposing to spend millions of our tax dollars to create a new Cabinet-level “Office of New Mainers” at the swamp in Augusta. The Director will be empowered to facilitate the immigration of low-skilled foreigners who don’t speak English and have higher birth rates than native Mainers.
This grandiose scheme to radically transform Maine’s demographic profile is the brainchild of Sen. Roger Katz (R-Augusta). He has sponsored LD 1492, “An Act to Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers to Strengthen the Workforce.”
This morning, a scaled-down, amended version of the bill sailed through the Education Committee on a 9 to 3 vote in a matter of mere minutes.
Katz insists that immigration is a social justice issue. He believes our status as the whitest state in the nation “is nothing to be proud of.” But so far, he hasn’t disclosed what he believes is the proper ethnic mix that would make him proud of Maine people again.
Meanwhile, the pro-amnesty, open-borders, far-Left Maine Beacon today tried to link me to the white supremacist movement. The unnamed author of the smear piece is upset because I’m fighting to prioritize existing Mainers — of all races — ahead of any effort to actively recruit a foreign contingent of cheap labor seeking to steal Maine jobs, change Maine culture and make Maine neighborhoods less safe.
In any case, I refuse to be lectured about morality by an organization that allows a convicted child molester to volunteer on their behalf on school grounds. The scandal-plagued Maine Peoples Alliance, which owns and operates the Maine Beacon, needs to clean up its own act before slinging mud on anyone.
When my advocacy group, New England Opportunity Project, uses the term, “War on Whites,” we are opposing the PC thought-police attempt throughout the mainstream media, academia, and politics to brand white people as “bad.” We are NOT suggesting whites as a race are inherently better than anyone else. We are NOT implying that any other races are inferior.
But we are calling out the Left’s racist tactics defaming Maine’s white population as undesirable, and we are steadfast in opposition to the Left’s open-borders political agenda.
If Katz’s brand of race-based identity politics sounds familiar, that’s because Leftist swamp critters at the Colosseum on the Kennebec have been preaching the guilt-mongering gospel of diversity for years. Now they’re proposing a permanent bureaucratic structure in state government to prioritize the interests of the Cheap Labor lobby in Augusta. Foreign-born, non-citizen immigrants will be given preference in state-funded job training programs, leaving unemployed and under-employed native Mainers — the deplorables — to fend for themselves.
Most of the proposed new spending would teach foreigners how to speak English, allowing them easy entry into the job market.
The rationale for this scheme is the supposed workforce shortage in Maine.
But according to census data, Maine’s population grew by .4% from 2016 to 2017. That’s Maine’s largest boost in population in many years. State economist Amanda Rector at the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services attributes the population growth to people attracted here by available jobs in the state.
“With the strong employment growth in the past couple years we did see population growth,” Rector said. “Private-sector jobs reached an all-time high. There’s also been some upward movement on wages as the labor market tightens.”
So, there you have it: Maine’s economy in the LePage era has recovered from decades of one-party rule at the Statehouse, paving the way for a net population increase. Reforming welfare, reducing the tax burden, and paying down the public pension debt have made a real difference. Thank you, Gov. LePage.
According to U.S. Census data, the vast majority of the newcomers came here from other states, not from foreign countries. Rector reported that 1,600 were foreigners, and 5,400 were domestic immigrants.
It’s a safe bet that most, if not all, of those 5,400 domestic “new Mainers” are already English-speaking U.S. citizens. So, instead of expending scarce state resources to attract non-citizens who don’t speak English, why not focus on making Maine a more attractive place for Americans from other states to settle?
Mainers already foot the bill for English as a second language (ESL) to the tune of $19-million annually.
The Biddeford School District in southern Maine’s York County has ten ESL instructors on staff. Those teachers only instruct children of immigrants and refugees, costing Maine taxpayers at least a half million dollars a year. That’s money spent only on foreign students, ignoring English-speaking Maine students.
In Lewiston, 30% of the students need ESL instruction. The district caters to working around the 34 various languages of its students, while English-speaking kids go without.
Katz and his open-borders cronies in Augusta will tell you Maine’s future depends on replacing Maine’s current workforce with a cheap, foreign contingent.
I would suggest the opposite is true.
Maine’s future depends on putting Mainers first.
State government should be focused on putting Maine people in a position to succeed. Augusta should be focused on preparing current Maine students for the changing job market — and then creating incentives to keep those kids in-state upon graduation. Legislators should be focused on creating an entrepreneurial atmosphere that encourages the creation of high-paying jobs for Mainers in both skilled trades and professional positions.
And when necessary to fill gaps, our government should be focused on recruiting Americans — who already speak English and who aren’t looking for free skills-training — to bring their talents to the Pine Tree State.
The Katz proposal for a multi-million dollar welcome center for foreigners who don’t speak English and a new Cabinet-level “Office of New Mainers” would render Maine unrecognizable within a generation. His scaled-down amended bill, if enacted, will be the camel’s nose in the tent. Once the Left has a foothold in statute, they will incrementally impose their radical vision of transforming Maine’s demographic profile.
Goodbye Joshua Chamberlain and Percival Baxter. Hello Hamdia Ahmed and Adnan Fazeli.
Instead, the Legislature should penalize organizations that profit from the deceptive Refugee Resettlement Racket. The Legislature should mandate E-Verify to ensure illegals aliens aren’t stealing jobs from Mainers. The Legislature should end all welfare benefits for non-citizens. And the Legislature should defund Harboring Havens, the so-called “sanctuary cities” that protect violent criminal aliens from deportation.
It’s time for Maine lawmakers to put Maine people first.
Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, is serving his third term in the Maine House of Representatives. He serves on the Labor, Commerce, Research & Economic Development Committee. He is co-founder and President of the New England Opportunity Project, a conservative nonprofit committed to draining the Statehouse swamp and putting Maine people first.