Now that Maine is Welcoming People Home!

Dear Governor Mills,

I frequently travel over the Piscataqua River Bridge that connects Maine to New Hampshire. After your inauguration, I was amazed to see the blue “Welcome Home” sign appear next to the bridge. I learned by reading Amjambo Africa! that among those the sign is intended to welcome home are…immigrants.

The midterm elections gave Maine a gift – and the “Welcome Home” sign is a classy and humanitarian gesture on your part. Now that Maine is “home,” please keep fighting for the integration of New Mainers – especially immigrants – so they feel welcomed. You know better than I do that immigrants are an asset to Maine, not a liability, as many would (mistakenly) like to think. Wherever I go in Maine, I see coffee shops, stores, markets, farms, churches, service providers, artists, and car garages – all belonging to immigrants!

The “Welcome Home” sign is peaceful in nature and stands in stark contrast to the messages of your predecessor, whose views on immigration still echo in many hearts. He demonized immigrants. Dear Governor Mills, please prove him wrong. Let your tenure show an increase in strength in all aspects of Maine’s economy and show the importance of adhering to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which remains as relevant today as it was on the day it was signed in 1948.

Dear Governor, I followed your inauguration closely and noted that immigrant communities were represented in those attending. From Angola to Somalia, and from Latin America to Asia, immigrants were there to show you their readiness to continue to help boost Maine’s development. Dear Governor, please don’t be drawn in by hateful views on immigration. During your predecessor’s tenure, some of us felt like we were prey, and that he was the hunting fox. Please soothe our hearts.

Dear Governor, please keep an eye on employment, and on the integration of the many skills of newcomers to Maine. Please don’t side with those who tell immigrants that they don’t speak perfect English. Instead, take the side of productivity and providing more classes at Adult Education.

In conclusion, I hope you will keep this motto alive: “We are all in this together!” The Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus, which graced your inaugural ceremony, embodies this motto. Once again, congratulations on accepting the leading role of service to the Pine Tree State.


Jean Damascene Hakuzimana.

Translator, Amjambo Africa!