Officials in Maine are working to save a program that creates jobs in economically challenged rural areas bordering Canada (“Border grants announced with program’s future in doubt,” Page B5, Aug. 11).

We recently learned about another threat to Maine’s economy: a widespread belief among Canadians that they are not welcome in the U.S. We are aware that many Canadians believe they could be asked aggressive, invasive and potentially illegal questions at the U.S. border. They fear they will be turned away for vague or arbitrary reasons if they answer those questions incorrectly.

People have been asked about their politics and attitude toward Donald Trump, and about their religious practices. Canadian citizens of color, religious minorities and gay people seem to be targeted.

We learned about this from friends and relatives in the Maritimes and Ontario who tell us, “Oh, yes, everyone knows about this.” Articles from the CBC News website, Maclean’s magazine, the Toronto Star and The Guardian document these concerns; some suggest not going to the U.S. as a way to avoid this problem. One family told us they no longer feel welcome going to Bangor to shop.

That so many people in Canada know about this means that, even if only a few people have been harassed and rejected, the impact is a threat to Maine businesses that benefit from Canadian visitors.

As Americans, we are saddened by what we have heard.

We are asking readers and our elected officials to investigate how widespread these practices are, what their economic impact is and, most importantly, to issue invitations that assure Canadians that they are welcome here.

Susan Payne

Cape Elizabeth

Elise Bolda

Scarborough