Maine Immigrants Concerned About Travel Ban | NECN
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Maine Immigrants Concerned About Travel Ban

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, Jan. 30, 2017)

    Members of Maine's refugee and immigrant community are reeling from President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration this weekend.

    The order stops refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 120 days, and requires officials to conduct additional screening.

    The Trump administration has stated the executive order seeks to keep out radical Islamic terrorists.

    Maine has a large Somali immigrant population, and Somalia is one of the seven countries listed on the immigration ban.

    "It's concerning being on a list of countries that are 'too dangerous,'" said Mahmoud Hassan, president of the Somali Community Center of Maine. "It's just sad, to be negatively singled out, to be suspect until proven innocent."

    Pious Ali, an immigrant from Ghana, and Portland's first African-born, Muslim city councilor, said many people have been calling him, asking questions about the immigration process in light of Trump's executive order.

    "It's scary," Ali said. "People don't know where to turn."

    "We came here because we felt this was the most safe place in the world, and for this to be happening here, now we don't know where to go," said Ali. "Where are we going to run to?"

    Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) held a press conference with members of the ACLU of Maine and former immigration lawyers to discuss the so-called Muslim ban.

    "This is unconscionable, unthinkable, and unconstitutional," said Rep. Pingree.

    Beth Stickney, an immigration lawyer for three decades, believes the challenges to Trump's executive order could end up in front of the Supreme Court.

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