In Lewiston, Maine, Somalis Keep Coming
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Remember Lewiston, Maine? The town of 36,000 became controversial in 2002 when it complained about the burden the sudden influx of a thousand tribal refugees made upon the post-industrial town, particularly on the welfare system and the schools. When Mayor Laurier Raymond asked Somalis to stop coming because Lewiston was overwhelmed, he was condemned as a racist by Somalis who had purposely come to Maine because of its generous welfare benefits.

Here's an update referring mostly to the numbers...

Seven years after Somali immigrants began relocating to Lewiston, the city estimates there are 3,500 immigrant residents now, with the number expected to crest to more than 4,000 in 2009.

"The last few years we’ve averaged 25 to 30 arrivals a month," according to Deputy City Administrator Phil  Nadeau, a number that is not reflected in the 2007 adjusted Census figures. [Census count will be critical to Lewiston, Lewiston Sun Journal, December 10, 2008]

In other words, "They keep coming."

As I wrote in my 2003 article, Banned In Lewiston? Female Genital Mutilation, the prevalence of FGM, a form of culturally accepted child torture, is practically universal among Somalis with a prevalence of 98 percent. It is a crime in this county and a human rights outrage, but Washington has been particularly generous in granting refugee slots to Somalis.

In other Somali news, dozens of young tribal fellows residing in America recently left for their homeland in order to pursue jihad. In fact one, Shirwa Ahmed, blew up himself along with 29 other people.

Is America diverse enough yet?

Below, colorful Somalis in Lewiston.

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