Here is Donald Trump at the rally in Portland on Aug. 4: “We have seen many, many crimes, getting worse all the time. And, as Maine knows, a major destination for Somali refugees. … They’re all talking about it, Maine Somali refugees … .”

He enters our state – the state and people represented by Republican Susan Collins in the U.S. Senate – and immediately attempts to stoke the flames of hatred, divisiveness and fear, setting one group of Mainers against another.

It’s been two months since Sen. Collins said she was waiting for Donald Trump to change his behavior and his “approach,” to act more “presidential.” Now he is attacking innocent people – whom she represents – who sought refuge in our state and are now significantly enriching Maine’s culture and economy.

The Somalis belong in Maine. It is long past time for Sen. Collins to disavow not just the words but also the man, by stating unequivocally that she cannot support for president an unfit and dangerous demagogue who would be ruinous for our country.

Susan Sterling