President Donald Trump on Friday took the extraordinary step of closing U.S. borders to citizens of seven Muslim majority states and refugees of all nationalities, sending the country’s immigration system into chaos, inciting protest around the country, upsetting our allies and emboldening our enemies.

And Rep. Bruce Poliquin, Maine’s 2nd District congressman, has no reaction.

The president’s inhumane and counterproductive order, imposed incompetently and confusedly over the weekend, was a victory for irrational fear. It separated families and put at risk Iraqis who have placed themselves in danger to help our country. It has disrupted companies who rely on foreign workers and colleges that welcome foreign students. It is a recruiting boon for the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

And yet because Congress is not voting on the executive orders, Poliquin’s spokesman said, the second-term congressman has nothing of substance to say, even as each of the remaining members of Maine’s congressional delegation made their feelings known.

“His policy in Congress has been to increase border security, end sanctuary cities and stop Syrian refugee admissions until national security agencies put in place effective processes to ensure that no suspected or potential terrorists are allowed to cross our borders,” the spokesman said.

In a debate that’s about degrees, about how far we should go to stay safe while still considering our obligations around the world and our place as a beacon of freedom, this kind of statement is meaningless.

But it’s not a surprise. Poliquin spent the campaign running from questions on whether he supported Trump, hedging his bets against a pre-election meltdown by the presidential candidate.

Now he is doing the same thing — it’s just that the stakes are much higher. Prior to the election, Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration and refugee resettlement could be waved off as political rhetoric, as if it was just Trump’s way of highlighting America’s security vulnerabilities.

But now it is no longer a suggestion; it is policy — far-reaching and transformative. Regardless of where one stands politically, the order arguably is damaging to the security of the United States and its standing in the world, and undoubtedly harmful to individuals here and in the affected countries. It deserves a response.

Instead, Poliquin’s constituents, some of whom are directly affected by the order, got a general, bland statement that provides him cover whatever the prevailing conditions when he has to run for office again in two years, whether that’s for Congress or the Blaine House. By design, it leaves a lot of questions.

Is he fine with the executive order covering much more than just “Syrian refugee admissions”? In what way are the screening processes previously in place not effective, despite their rigor and proven capacity to keep out dangerous people? What is an acceptable timeline for new processes to be put in place? If this is about security, then why were the countries of origin for the 9/11 terrorists excluded, and what of the business ties between those countries and President Trump?

And just what is America’s obligation, as a world leader, to its allies and to the refugees who were working toward a new life here in the United States?

The executive order on immigration is, in our view, immoral and self-defeating. It has disrupted lives and ruined hopes. It is a signal that our relationship with the world is changing, and that Trump plans on following through on his most reactionary campaign promises. What happens when he decides to address the “carnage” in America’s cities?

However one views the Trump administration, tremendous change is stirring. When that change infringes on valued rights, people who, like Poliquin, hold influence and power must tell us where they stand. It is no time for fence-sitting.

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