Exclusive: Small Town America Transformed By Somali Migrants

by PAUL L. WILLIAMS, PHD July 16, 2010
Newly arrived Somali immigrants have transformed small towns and cities throughout the United States into tuulas (Somali villages).
 
The process is underway in such places as Lewiston, Maine; Shelbyville, Tennessee, St. Cloud, Minnesota, Clarkston,Georgia, and Jamestown, North Dakota.
 
The Jamestown Sun reports that 400 Somalis have applied for public housing in the past four months.
 
The Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas and nearby small towns have created the Somali Community Center of Southwest Kansas in order to tap into public welfare programs. Within this section of the heartland, white Christians have become the minority.
 
In East San Diego, the newly arrived Somalis have created a Little Mogadishu. The streets are lined with Somali stores, shops, and mosques. In the midst of this ethnic enclave stands the Iftin Charter School, where K-8 students are introduced to Arabic. 99% of the student population is Somali; Arabs constitute the remaining 1%.
 
The American Somalis now display the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the country. They also remain the least educated. According to Andrew Liepman, the deputy director of intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, Somali-Americans face "greater insularity compared to other, more integrated Muslim immigrant communities, [which] has aggravated the challenge of assimilation for their children."
 
This problem is crystallized by the present situation is Lewiston, Maine, where African Muslims, many from the Bantu tribe, began arriving in 2001 at the rate of 100 a month.
 
Mohammed Maye, the president of the African Community and Refugee Center in Clarkston, Georgia posted a map of Lewiston on the wall of his office. “Go to Maine,” he advised the Somali immigrants. Abdullahi Abdullahi, the president of the Somali Community Development Organization in Clarkston, upheld this advice by telling his fellow countrymen that, unlike Georgia, Maine has terribly cold winters, but “the welfare system is better.”
 
Lewiston, indeed, was better. The small town in Maine with a population of 30,000 provided welfare to anyone in need, with the state picking up half the tab. Recipients, including the Muslim refugees, were allowed a generous five years of assistance before their benefits became terminated, and extensions for several additional years on the public dole were not difficult to obtain. Single parents could stay on welfare and go to college.
 
Public housing was also available, although, with the influx of Somalis, the housing projects became packed to capacity. Many of the new project dwellers were single Somali mothers with large broods of children. Those who are unable to obtain public housing were handed Section 8 vouchers, which the federal government provided to subsidize their rent in private apartments. The northern city with its frigid climate became welfare heaven for the arrivals from the vast desert areas of northern Africa.
 
The newcomers have shown scant interest in securing employment. When Renee Bernier, the president of the Lewiston city council, offered to hire 30 Somalis at the rate of $8 to $10 an hour to hold warning signs at construction sites, few displayed interest. The handful, who did apply, said that they were only willing to work between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
 
The Somali population of Lewiston now exceeds 40,000.
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Paul L. Williams, Ph.D., is the author of The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on such national news networks as ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR. Visit his website at http://thelastcrusade.org.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Who's right: Donald Trump or Macy's?

 

mexico trump_macys_2015

Macy's has removed Donald Trump's products from their shelves because, while he stated that some of the Mexican people crossing our borders illegally are good people, some are murderers and rapists. While a true statement, it is not a "politically correct" statement, so Macy's has decided to pull his products from their shelves.

As a result of this, will you shop less - or not at all - in Macy's stores in the future?






10 year FSM Anniversary

Rep. Alan Grayson declares it's time to stop fiddling while black churches (accidentally) burn

July 02, 2015  09:51 PM

When is the government going to get serious about racist lightning strikes?

Government assigns Independence Day homework: Hassle your Uncle Ted about Obamacare

July 02, 2015  07:02 PM

Great advice from the federal government: "You should be prepared when Aunt Janine says something like, 'Obamacare hasn't helped anyone!'"

Lie of the Year winner cautions: Candidates 'are going to be making a lot of stuff up'

July 02, 2015  05:19 PM

This bit of advice brought to you by the winner of PolitiFact's Lie of the Year award.

Chairman of House Dems asks people to 'keep tabs' on companies silent about Trump

July 02, 2015  04:59 PM

Rep. Becerra seeing to it that there's hell toupée for The Donald.

MSNBC's cover for George Takei's racist comment about Clarence Thomas is 'pretty low'

July 02, 2015  04:28 PM

"Excusing overtly racist comments" and it's not very surprising.

FSM Archives

More in PUBLICATIONS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )