[Note: We are a nation of immigrants, so this ban is un-American. It will hurt the wrong people and there is absolutely no guarantee it will reduce the threat of terrorism. It will only cause more global mistrust of the United States.]
An Arab community leader in Maine decried the president’s travel ban as a punishment for people who have done nothing wrong, and said the move disrespects America’s history as a nation built by immigrants and refugees.
Zoe Sahloul was born in Lebanon and came to Maine nearly two decades ago. She now serves as the executive director of the New England Arab American Organization, with offices in Westbrook and Portland.
“I believe in the goodness of people,” she said. “Unfortunately with these regulations, a lot of people are being hurt, a lot of people who are innocent and who have had nothing to do with terrorists. People are desperate to leave [war-torn countries], and they’re desperate to have any help they can get to save their kids and save their families.
“I’ve been in Maine for 20 years, and even with that, I’ve been so stressed out and so afraid,” Sahloul continued. “When we talk about immigrants, who is not a product of immigrants in the United States, whether you’re third or fourth generation?”
Trump’s travel ban will block travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — four of which are Arab nations, and all of which are predominantly Muslim — for at least 90 days. The president’s measure will also prevent refugees from any country from entering the U.S. for at least 120 days.
Read the rest of the story by Seth Koenig in the Bangor Daily News.