As court battles continue over President Trump’s travel ban, the futures of thousands of people who have waited, in some cases for years, to relocate to the U.S., will remain uncertain. We need leadership to protect human rights, and Sen. Susan Collins must help lead the way.

Congress must act to block this order, sending a message that religious discrimination can never be written into U.S. law. This order is a reflection of Trump’s campaign promises to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. The court in Hawaii used statements made by Trump and his spokespeople as evidence that this executive order was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.

The White House has not explained how this policy keeps the U.S. safer. Over 130 former government officials and security experts signed a letter warning that the order will weaken U.S. security.

Sen. Collins spoke out against the first version of this order, saying it betrayed Iraqi interpreters who had helped U.S. forces. But the cap on the refugee admissions remains, meaning Iraqi refugees, including those who worked with the U.S. military, will still be locked out. As refugees are barred from safety, our own communities in Maine remain in need of new residents and families.

This order has emboldened hate-based attacks on immigrants and American Muslims by sanctioning bigotry and painting all Muslims as threats. Maine’s East African population, including refugees who fled war in countries like Somalia and Sudan, must be able to trust that their human rights are protected.

Security threats exist, but this order is not the answer. Congress must take action to repeal this ban. We need senators who will stand up for human rights. Sen. Collins must take action and protect the human rights of all Mainers.

Elizabeth Gartley

South Portland