June 21, 2019 07:32 PM
As more Somali refugees settle in St. Cloud, a New York Times article published on Thursday, reports anti-immigration activists are beginning to push harder against a resettlement program that has brought many, mostly Muslim, refugees to the area.
The article says the influx of Somalis has caused the kinds of population and cultural changes President Trump and right-wing conservatives have warned about for years, stoking people’s fears. …
Over the last 30 years, St. Cloud has increased in population by 33%, with the share of non-white residents growing from 2% to 18%, the article notes.
Dave Kleis, who has been mayor for 13-and-a-half-years, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he disagrees with the article.
“I don’t believe it’s reflective of the community,” said Mayor Kleis. “That’s an external opinion of the community that I don’t see.”
He said refugees and immigrants are an important part of the community as entrepreneurs, authors and city employees.
“There’s a lot of individuals doing tremendous things in this community,” said Kleis. “There are a lot of collaborations taking place, a lot of great stories.”
Kleis said he also disagrees with the views shared by Concerned Community Citizens.
Mayor Kleis reiterated that all refugees are welcome in St. Cloud.
“Our goal is to make sure we treat everyone and give everyone the same respect and opportunity,” said Kleis. “My perspective is to continue to build on those positive stories and focus on all of the positive things that are happening.”
Dissent on immigration is illegitimate and immoral.