Refugee Resettlement Watch

Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 21, 2011

That is the question asked by CBS Minnesota in Minneapolis this week. Hat tip: Lynn.  The story, here, pretty much has it correct.  First, there are a bunch of volags (silly name, voluntary agencies) paid by the federal government to resettle refugees. If you have a bunch of those in your town (or one aggressive one), you will have a larger number of refugees.   And, the second reason is that the welfare benefits in Minnesota are  so good.

Digressing slightly, I meant to post on the welfare magnet that is Maine awhile back where the new governor plans to limit services after 5 years to those on welfare.  Maine has been a magnet to Somalis as well, most notably the city of Lewiston.

[Governor Paul] LePage supports 5-year lifetime limits on welfare programs and a tiered system to transition welfare recipients into the work force.

Back to Minneapolis and the WCCO report which begins:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It is perhaps the least likely place to find tens of thousands of African refugees: the cold, snowy, middle of America. So why are there so many Somalis in Minnesota?

Reason number 1: Church “volags” brought them to welcoming Minnesota.

The Somalis are here as legal refugees, largely. The Somalis Minnesota story tracks to 1991, when civil war broke out in Somalia. Millions fled to refugee camps, many in Kenya.

Two years later, the first wave of Somali refugees were sent to Minnesota.

“In the beginning the U.S. federal government assigns people,” said Samatar [Dr. Ahmed Samatar, dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College].

To qualify as a refugee, there is a process. The U.S. State Department ultimately decides where refugees will live, but it has to do with the voluntary agencies, called VOLAGS, that contract with the State Department. [The volags play the largest role in deciding where refugees go, there is no careful analysis of your city, resettlement locations are just determined with pressure from the volags.  If there is a problem and people in the community make waves, the State Dept. may step in and stop the resettlement to that city.---ed]

Minnesota has very active ones like Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities, and World Relief Minnesota.

Those agencies agree [and are paid by the US taxpayer---ed] to help the refugees get settled, to learn English, find housing, get health care, and begin a new life.

Reason number 2, and why refugees stay and more come, is that Minnesota, like Maine, provides handsome welfare programs.

But the Somalis have largely stayed, somewhere around 30,000 of them, partially because of the strength of the non-governmental VOLAGS, and partially because of the strength of governmental programs to help refugees begin a new life, according to Samatar.  [Note how delicately this is worded, LOL!, "strength of governmental programs."---ed]

After the first wave is assigned here, the second wave of relatives and friends soon followed.

“As Somalis settle down, find a life, the good news spreads: ‘Hey this is a good place, you can find a life here,’” said Samatar.

Over the past 25 years, the United States has admitted about 84,000 Somali refugees [they've got that figure about right, but they don't include all those who got in through other immigration programs or who came in illegally and have disappeared---ed]. Close to 40 percent live in Minnesota.

“The institutions of this state, private or public, have an important place in the mind of Somalis,” he noted.

This is long but do not stop reading! The best part of this story from CBS is the comment section.  I am posting one entire comment from a reader named Random Reader because I doubt it will be available for too long.

Random Reader:

I live in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, which is immediately adjacent to the Cedar Riverside neighborhood where the majority of the Somali population lives. We also have high-rise public housing that is predominantly Somali, along with many Somali businesses and the main public elementary school serving the Somali population. I regularly take my child to play in parks where we are the only non-Somali people, shop in the halal markets, and try to keep up with issues of importance to the Somali community by following the local and national websites catering to the Somali Diaspora (i.e. Bartamaha, Hiiraan, Camel Milk Threads…). All in all I would say that as an outsider I have about as much exposure to the Somali population as possible without being a social worker.

And I must say that I am very worried by what I see.

While many Somalis are hard working, law abiding, good citizens, there appears to be a significant percentage who maintain their clan ties and animosities, make no attempt at integrating themselves into the general population, and are prone to violence. Some of the violence is Somali vs. Somali- for example the triple murder at the Seward Market in 2010 and the daytime shooting a few weeks ago on Franklin Ave. But a lot of it is more akin to the piracy which takes place off the Somali coast: gangs of Somalis have been mugging area bicyclists for years and the trail that follows the light rail. Residents of Minneapolis will also likely remember the youtube video posted by young Somali gangsters a year or two back showing them assaulting random pedestrians and bicyclists with no apparent motive other than laughs.

In addition to the violence, there seems to be other major “quality of life” issue with the Somali population. For example, rampant littering, uninsured driving, treatment of Somali women as chattel and sex slaves by the men, welfare fraud. Even little actions show great disrespect: II can say honestly that every person I have seen but into a line in the last few years has been a young Somali.

While it would be worrying enough that there is a group in the state with this apparent love of violence and disrespect of social conventions, what makes me even more scared is the growth of the community. Although I have never been able to find any firm numbers, it appears that the local Somali community is maintaining the fertility rate of their homeland- somewhere around 5 or 6 kids per family. And likewise- although official numbers are not available a huge percentage of the Somali population relies on public money and social services for almost every facet of their lives (i.e. subsidized housing, food stamps, use of our public county hospital…). Honestly, I do not see how Minnesota (and Minneapolis/Hennepin County in particular) will be able to support this population in the future. And if public support ever goes away, the muggings seem sure to get even more frequent.

I welcome the fact that CBS opened a comment section on this story. Our local papers, the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press will almost never allow comments on articles related to the Somali community, and when they do the comments are heavily censured. Likewise the local community email list, e-democracy.org, will kill any thread which talks about crime related to the Somali community. While I understand not wanting to provide a space for ignorant racial ranting it also means that there is not a single open forum in Minneapolis where issues surrounding this issue can be discussed.

As a lifelong resident of Minnesota I have seen waves of immigrants come to our state, due to the work of Lutheran Social Services. And I welcome (for example) the Liberians, Hmong, Laotians, Cambodians and Ethiopians who arrived ready to work hard and make a better live. But being close to the heart of the Somali community, I think I am starting to understand why Somalia has not been able to maintain a government since 1991.

Note: this is an edited version of a comment submitted and published on the NYT website in regards to another article on the Somali Minnesota Population.

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33 Responses to “Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?”

  1. [...] Originally Posted by zoomcopter Very good link. The government would not be as successful in dumping Somalis without the help of Churches, especially the Lutheran Church. Lutheran churches wishing to import more Somalis should be opposed. More on this from Refugee Settlement Watch. [...]

  2. Alicia Kent said

    I forgot to add these websites …..

    http://www.cis.org/refugee-system-needs-review

    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/somali-family-reunification-halted-in-scandinavia/

    Please join NumbersUSA.com http://www.americanpatrol.com/index.html
    http://www.theamericanresistance.com/index.html alipac.com
    http://www.judicialwatch.org/

  3. Inland Empire Gates…

    Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis? « Refugee Resettlement Watch…

  4. bb said

    HEY WILLIAM:

    I totally agree with what you said.

    I noticed the same thing in Columbus, Ohio so I was curious as to why there are so many Somalians here. The thing is, you don’t see them in the light of day, working at jobs, coffeeshops, grocery stores, BUT if you go out in the middle of the night there are tons of them at Hookah Smoke Cafes and grocery shopping and at my 24hr gym. It is really, really weird and disturbing.

  5. [...] magnet, stupidMohamed changes his plea, says he helped Minneapolis "youths" go to Jihad training….Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?Somali terrorist defense: the Ethiopians made us do itSounds like Obama Administration snow job on [...]

  6. William said

    I live in a small town in Southern Minnesota, and in the last few years massive waves of Somalis have settled in my town. These days, when you drives through my downtown, you might think you are driving through a neighborhood in Somalia itself: all of the original inhabitants of my town are afraid to go downtown anymore as it has been entirely taken over by Somali men, woman, and children. They don’t add any benefit to the community, only bringing animosity and mooching off of Minnesota’s economy. It would be one thing if they tried to integrate into our town, but they are honestly very unfriendly, and soley converse with other Somalis and are very clannish. Please, I beg of someone in the Minnesota Government, please stop this from continuing any further, because it breaks my heart to see this once close knit, crime free happy town become a refugee camp for Somalis. It isn’t right and it isn’t fair.

    • Aalicia Kent said

      Senator Amy Klobachar and Governor Pawlenty are big Somali fans.

      Pawlenty passed a bill in 2006 giving all sammies free government loans for houses and cars, free small business loans, free micro-loans …. on and on!

      Somalian voters helped elect klobachar 5 years ago.

      She has been doing everything she can to suck up to sammies since then!

      Please see…………… http://www.hiiraan.com/comments2-news-2006-nov-local_somali_vote_is_hidden,_yet_powerful.aspx ……. to read some about klobachar and her love of sammies.

      Klobachar is up for election next year …. so November 6th, 2012 go to the polls and vote her GONE!!!

      Then in 5 years vote out druggy al franken he’s as bad as klobachar!

  7. den said

    They must live under Sharia law. Therefore, we must remove the constitution or be forced to remove it and replace it with Sharia.

    They can accept nothing less. Period. That is what the left won’t tell you. The Muslims will tell you exactly that is you ask.

    They come in as a religion and become a violent political group jamming streets with their ass lifting to prove dominance over you and agitating for rights at your expense.

    Work here, with WHAT skill? Welfare! Touch one of their women by accident and watch what happens to you! If your kids dress not as sharia demands expect the worst you can imagine from a street gang of them.

  8. [...] of arrested Somali sex traffickersCIS report to be released next week on immigrant welfare useWhy so many Somalis in Minneapolis? « Feds question friends of Columbus, OH Somali on possible [...]

  9. rowana said

    You suggest there are various agencies which resettle the Somalii here. You mention christian churches. In Columbus, Ohio, it was reported in the Dispatch that it was Jewish Family Services which brought in thousands of these radical Muslims into the city. Why not list exactly what agencies brought them to Minneapolis? Don’t we have the right to know exactly who brought these angry, hostile people here to raid our government services, fill up low income housing, stuff our schools, etc.? And when will it end? How can anyone claim to be a loyal American and bring in such people to pillage our government services, lower our standard of living, plant terrorists among us, etc. And why would the Jewish Family Services bring them here? They have sure not made Columbus Ohio a better place to live! And they are NOT “melting” into the culture. Numerous of their population have already been found to be planning terrorist attacks on our country! Maybe they should stay in their own county and fight for it. I was told by one government worker that they nearly bankrupted the state’s Medicaid funds. They set up sham “health care” companies and billed for phoney services. They DEMAND Somalian interpreters (to keep their clansmen employed) and then refuse (or pretend not to understand)to learn English. They DEMANDED home health care workers from their own clans, while the rest of America takes who is assigned to them. They refused to interpret for their own grandmothers unless paid to do so. If hired, they demand to have a place for their prayers and take their prayer breaks on their knees while everybody else works. In the schools, they demanded the kids have a room for prayers (but nobody else got such privileges). Watch them walk around with half a dozen kids trailing behind them. How long will the American people have to feed these new generations of dependents and when will they finally call a halt to it? When the women get a job, the men come in to pick up their checks and scream “discrimination” if one refuses to give it to them, not the woman. The men are completely contemptuous to women (white women especially) and will not be told what to do on a job by a woman. Go to juvenile court halls in Columbus and they are lined up, with problems. Some have figured out how to give their kids custody every two years or so to a tribal member, to circumvent the limitations on government benefits. Anything to milk the system which was designed to serve the tax paying American in an emergency or crisis. If a man separates from his wife, just try finding him for support. If his employer is served withholding support papers, he will bring in a “brother” who is to receive his paycheck, so his wages can’t be garnished. It is somebody else’s problem (aka American taxpayer) to feed his kids. It was so bad the clerks refuse to assist them in filing these change of custody papers, knowing what is going on. I think all you feel good christians and jewish liberals should all line up and sign over YOUR paychecks to these Somalii terrorist breeders. They are a cancer upon our land and no friend to us. We would be better off cleaning out Somalia instead of the three wars we are in, and returning them all once we pay to make it “safe” and call it a very very bad learning experience.

  10. teacher said

    I AM a Tea Party person and conservative, and allaidiot, I am offended by YOUR use of my political beliefs as a cultural slur. I am proud to be a natural -born citizen of the US and am one of millions working to protect our country from your type of thuggishgness.(And you know you’re in trouble when leftist Minnesotians write complaining about somali behavior.)

    As for the “black man” in the WH, heh..better research that. He’s about 4-6% black, with the rest white and arab.

    And since arabs use the same word for “black” as for “slave” (because they think of the two as the same), I’m not sure he will do too much for the “african-american community.” The lip service he has given to them so far has been purely political. He’ll use you and toss you. Watch how he’s kissing up to Tea Party budget ideas already.

    Want a real black American to admire? Look up Herb Cain, Thomas Sowell, Allan West,or Clarence Thomas. Then work to help your fellow somalis to assimilate successfully as did the Greeks,Irish, Chinese, Hungarians, Russians, etc.

    You can start by being a better example — don’t call average Americans sexual slurs — it’s considered low-class and trashy.

  11. [...] Then here is a mention of that same neighborhood a commenter (Random Reader) told us about here. [...]

  12. [...] available of arrested Somali sex traffickersModerate Muslim cuts wife's head off…in NEW YORK!Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?AboutIreland taking Rohingya Muslim refugeesArticle reports Somali clan feuds in St. Louis (also) [...]

  13. Canada still offer refugee status to Somalis than any other country no matter what skills they have or not.
    So don’t assume Canadian policies is different than American it is all same.
    @lol I am not conservative or tea bagger.
    There is no doubt bout that you are either one of them.

    • acorcoran said

      I can’t believe I am agreeing with Allahsoldier on something—Canada’s refugee policy is similar to ours. From my research, Canada has made the same mistake as the US and is now reaping what they have sown by indiscriminately allowing huge numbers of Somalis into Canada. Just click on our category ‘Canada’ and you will see what I mean.

  14. foxhole atheist said

    Having been a metro county employee, the the health & human services department, I’ve seen how much this somali refugee program has cost Minnesota taxpayers. I wish the Star Trib would publish the figures, because taxpayers would cut them off immediately, when they saw the return on the invesment in this fiasco. My question is this: If these religious organizations brought us this burden, why aren’t they funding the operation? Why must we always wind up paying for the short-sighted, ill-informed decisions made by religious institutions. They don’t want to pay taxes, but when their poorly thought-out ideas don’t work out, they pass the burden onto the tax payers, just like corporations do. They should have to pay for the hundreds of millions of annual dollars it takes to try to manage this absolute disaster. And, having been a Minneapolis resident for a couple of decades now, I’d just as soon see them all go back tomorrow. they aren’t making life better for Minneapolitains. I don’t know anyone who is thankful for the burden these people have placed upon our local tax base, and I know an awful lot of people; most of whom complain about the somali problem. They contribute almost nothing to society as a whole. Are there exceptions? Sure. But, not very many. The rule is what should dictate public policy, not the exceptions to it. It’s a failed experiment. Let it die. Kill the program. I’m not a tea bagger or even a conservative, but what I’ve seen from the Somali community over the last fifteen years is nothing but a hassle.

    We can look at other parts of the metro area with concentrations of other immigrant groups, and the areas that somalis dominate have gotten worse, not better.The west bank has been in a nosedive for the last 20 years, and it has not gotten any better, no matter how much money we pump into this collectively thankless group of people. This is in contrast to say, east lake street, where the immigrants there have a work ethic and have changed the face of the entire area for the better. The somali cultural meme is a detriment to everything it touches. Worthless.

    Moreover, we’re told that we are supposed to be sensitive to their culture. Having spent a lot of time studying various social sciences, I understand that culture is learned behavior. That means that it can be unlearned. The set of cultural ideas that has demonstrated itself to be the colossal failure that is that of the somali people, is not a set of ideas that I feel I need to accommodate, much less respect.

    In fact, it has demonstrated to those of us in the world that have not plunged ourselves into the war-torn dysfunction that is somalia, that it is a horrible idea that should be rejected by any reasonable, thinking person. Lets face it, those ideas create problems, and solve nothing. So, why bother? I’m all for the Ellis Island days, where they examined the individual’s ability to contribute to our society (literacy, education, work experience, etc.), and if they can’t, they don’t come here. Even Canada does that. I think we could at leat adopt the immigration policies/standards Canada has. I say we can’t save the world form themselves, and we can’t help anyone who is resistant to the ideas in the societies where they want to relocate. Besides, we have enough of our own problems here, why do we feel like we need to take on the rest of the world’s problems, when we can’t even keep our own war vets off the streets? I mean, at least the vets stuck their necks out for all of us. What have Somalis done for us? Nothing. Why do we give them anything. It isn’t like they’ve earned it. And we give to the botomless somali pit, yet deny our own citizens as a result.

    Thanks catholic charities and lutheran social services. This is on your hands. When will you own your collective mess, and clean it up? I know you’ll never do it. Religious organizations have a history of making excuses for thousands of years of messes they created, and have never made an effort to face the music, even once. Here’s another example of that. Of course, they were going to convert all of these somalis, too. Ask them. Since it didn’t work, we get to pay for it. And now, we’re expected to be sensitive to another theocratic set of ideas even more failed than the ones that brought them here. I’m not buying it.

  15. Birm said

    I’m starting to wonder if LovesCats is Ann Coulter or just one of her acolytes…

    • jabe warsame said

      She can go and join tea party movement and vote for Romney. How is that? If they were no Somalis in Minnesota. They would have complain about some other communities.

  16. Mr RR said; I am the person who wrote the random reader story post first at NYT and then CBS story! Why do you call yourself random reader if you work for the new York times? Tell us your name and which dept in NYT do you work for? And please provide the details of the cedar riverside neighborhood which only a local would know. Do so please!
    What’s wrong sitting in starbucks and talking politics? You don’t go to Starbucks and talk about politics or current events in America?
    Hello! You claimed to be a journalist but you are nothing but tea bagger.
    By the way I am an African American who likes the Somali people and culture which is so different than other African cultures.
    They own their businesses, schools. Mini malls, restaurants, etc.
    Elderly folks are the ones who rely on assistance from the government but not the young ones.
    I don’t give a beep about the deleted comments about the Somalis cuz those tea party so called activists are behind those vicious comments.
    Speaking of deportation or extermination “Naah”
    I don’t see that happening under black president and democrat SENATE MAJORITY.

    • Sum1notsomali said

      Salaam Allah Soldier,

      I read your posts and would like to offer you my thoughts on Somalis.

      But first I would like to let you know that I understand where you coming from. For any black American their is no doubt that this country did wrong to their ancestors and that today it continues to fail black America.

      For all those who want to blame the AA (African American) community for it’s ills you need to realize that it is Majority America that is policing her neighborhoods, dictating her laws, educating her children etc… Since Majority America reserves its exclusive right to do these things it should take responsibility for the shortcomings of such a historic and very American community.

      Now about Somalis. It should be noted that the elders generally rely on social assistance, although a number of them are at least partially employed. Among the youth they almost without question have some kind of employment and although I would say care giver is a common occupation and one that is less popular among native born Americans, you do see Somalis working in more respectable fields and also in customer service (the existence of their community creates a need for native speakers in the social services and businesses).

      The youth are also able to benefit from educational assistance because of their parents low incomes and because their jobs are usually either low paying or part time, under 15k annually.

      This country has done so much to help Somalis and other refugee communities, it has given their parents monthly income, paid for the youths education all the way to a bachelors degree, and every Somali I have met has nothing but contempt for this country. Even worse is that because so much affluence (disposable income) exists in some households because the youth all have jobs, live at home and have of the basic needs of the family being met by the elders unearned income (section 8 housing, welfare, food stamps, passing excess children around for earned income tax credit) crime is attractive to the youth who can’t find jobs. With the economy not improving this will become worse, and the criminal elements within this community are becoming more sophisticated, a prostitution ring was recently busted in MN.

      RR is wrong to be concerned with Shariah …

      Somalis are a very dysfunctional community. The women often have relationships with men (even sex, and even the ones who wear jilbab), it is extremely common. To them religion is a revolving door, the hijab is something worn as a convenience, either to feel pious or as a fashionable article. Unlike Pakistani Pathan and Arab Yemeni communities Somali’s do not seem viable candidates for living in a state within a state societies. Most families have absentie fathers and the few with a male head of the household often have a step father and not the original father. Combine this with big city environment most live in and you will see that your fears of a shariah community are not realistic. No one in the family is strong enough to dictate how others should live within the family, unlike Yemeni and certain Pakistani communities. With that said many do have attachments to their mothers, so although the traditional concept of family does not pervade their society, certain tradition which you will never have to deal with (primarily marriage ceremonies) will be dictated by the mother.

  17. MLK was a hero unlike your priest Ted haggard who had sex with men and used drugs.
    MLK was a civil rights leader and human rights activist.
    MLK was a man with dignity and respect.
    MLK was a reverend who won Nobel peace prize.
    As black man I found your comment offensive and disturbing.
    I bet your grandson raped and killed innocent Iraqi women and children In Iraq.
    So if you were a groupie who didn’t like MLK I can understand but get over it.
    So stop

  18. LovesCats said

    “…so let’s not judge them on the color of their skin but their character.”

    Nobody except YOU said anything about “skin color.” Do yourself a favor and stop wallowing in willful self-serving, self-rightous ignorance. If you have the courage do some research and find out the true facts about your ‘dear leader’ MLK. The false god known today as MLK (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lol) was a communist frontman, a fraud, a plagerist, a druken woman-beater, a whoremonger who preferred white prostitutes, a traitor to his wife, black people, and America.

    All this information is well documented and available online. These facts not well known because they’ve been officially sealed by act of US law. Michael King’s (his real name) widow lobbied to have MLK’s extensive FBI file sealed for 50 years. Why would his widow, or anyone for that matter, want to hide this hero-saint’s FBI file from the public? If the file is full of lies then they should be exposed and refuted. The problem is the FBI files aren’t full of lies but truths so damaging they will never see the light of day.

  19. they got money from back home by selling homes,land, farms, etc.
    secondly do you really believe you can get a loan or grants by walking into a bank? even if your credit is above 700? I don’t think so.
    american lawyers are even getting their cut in my town! what is that supposed to mean? are you saying somalis are paying pribe money to lawyers so they can get a loan? I don’t think so.
    Last thing i want to say is that as long as you paying taxes and supporting the local community YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, I believe most of them have 9-5 job and their businesses is just an extra money to make just like a student making money in the summer by delivering pizza.

  20. LovesCats said

    acorcoran

    I’d bet even the small business owners are on welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, etc.

    They claim, either legitimately or fraudulently, that their small business earning are low enough to still qualify for public assistance, easy enough for immigrants with large families. Profits from illegal enterprise such as cash transfers and drug deals are kept ‘off the books’ and stashed in secret bank accounts.

    Here are 4 non-taxable sources of income readily available to immigrants.

    small business earnings/micro loans
    public assistance
    private charities
    criminal enterprise

  21. Random reader is another imaginary friend like KHADRA who is hired by RRW to pretend to be somali.
    Random reader is tea bagger and NOT a real person.
    Random reader also lives in that low income housing cuz he himself who said he shops in Somali halal market NOT on regular supermarkets in minneapolis.
    He also said most of the Somali are hard working people and law abiding citizens Not thieves.
    So why is he contradicting himself?
    I know why because he is random-Joe-reader.
    The reason somalis are given those low income subsidized housing is because most of them have NO crminal background and dont use drugs.
    In Columbus Ohio most of the Somalis own their mini malls, halal markets,Islamic schools,restaurants,etc.

    Most of them dont depend on the government but themselves so let’s not judge them on the color of their skin but their character.
    By MLK(rest in peace).

    • acorcoran said

      You must not have read Random Reader very carefully. First, the person did not say he or she was a Somali. Also, if you follow the link back you will see that Random Reader did not write to RRW but to the orignal story. And, by the way, as an American citizen (you’ve told us that before) didn’t you ever wonder how all those Somalis came here and very quickly owned their own storefronts and businesses? There are special micro-enterprise grants and loans they can get as refugees to help them own a business (or a home or a car) that you can’t get. Also, didn’t you ever wonder how they survive in some little shop selling a little food, or some trinkets and fabrics? Most likely because they have money transfers going on in the back room—big bucks involved in transferring $$$ back to Somalia. American lawyers are even getting their cut in your town!

      • Birm said

        Have you ever done any research into the history of remittances? It’s by no means a new phenomena, which many people (not assuming you are one) seem to think it is.

        I’ve had several conversations with people here in the US who angrily deny that immigrants in the 19th and 20th century ever sent money back home overseas. Then, in turn, I’ve had several conversations with people who either immigrated to the US or who had relatives who came to the US during the 20th century, and they openly talked about how much the families back home depended on remittances, how common of a practice it was, and how it was expected of the person who made the migration. The economies of Ireland, Italy and Spain, for example, heavily relied on remittances during the 20th century.

        • acorcoran said

          Here is just one of many posts we have written over the years on illegal money transfer going on from the back of the store. http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/fbi-raided-money-transfer-businesses-in-minneapolis-today/

          If European immigrants sent money back home and did so legally, what does that have to do with Somalis doing it illegally? Indeed even if our European ancestors sent it illegally what does it have to do with today? You seem to think that something illegal or immoral done in the past by white Europeans justifies today’s illegalities and unethical practices? Wrong then, wrong now, no matter who is doing it.

          Indeed there is growing evidence that in some Somali enclaves in certain cities, lawyers etc. are helping set up these refugee businesses (with micro-enterprise loans) in order to facilitate the transfer of wealth to the third world —the business is booming and there is lots of money to be made for all (including the lawyers!).

          And, for readers who think, what is wrong with working hard and sending $ back “home”, nothing, as long as the money has not been gotten through food stamp fraud.

          I did do some research and remittances are at an all time high with money flowing out of the US to the third world—I think you (and Obama) call it the redistribution of wealth.

      • Birm said

        And, for what it’s worth, if you look at World Bank 2009 figures, Somalia doesn’t even break into the top remittance-receiving countries. Neither does Kenya, where many Somalis have been resettled.

    • RR said

      AllahSoldier,

      I am the person who wrote the ‘random reader’ post- first at the NYT and then for the CBS story. Please be assured that I am a real person and have never communicated with anyone related to this ‘Refugee Resettlement Watch’ website. I found this post by googling a phrase from my letter. The details of my post should speak for themselves. If still in doubt I would be happy to provide geographic details of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood which only a local would know.

      I certainly did not claim to be a Somali in my post. I just live in an area where the demographics are changing quickly.

      >> So why is he contradicting himself?

      I am not contradicting myself. I have no doubt that the majority of the Somali refugees are good people and hard working. Many have gone through horrors of war which I can only imagine in my nightmares.

      But what about that substantial minority who seem too ‘proud’ to work and who are living off the hard work of everyone else in the state while sitting at the Starbucks talking about politics back home? I am simply stating that your community seems to have a much larger percentage of trouble makers than the other immigrant communities I have known. It makes me wonder if this is part of your national character. Can you please address these issues?

      Also, if you are interested you might want to know that on the original CBS forum approximately 200 comments were deleted because they were so strongly anti-Somali. You should check that thread out (if it is still there by the time you read this). In addition to expressing my concerns, I also have been defending the Somali population against the most brazen lies (i.e. that there is 90% unemployment). I do not think that such falsehoods help anyone.

      What I really would like would be an open discussion about the topics without the race baiting and “Smelly Somali” comments. As my wife pointed out last night, there are three courses of action for Minneapolis (and I suppose the other major settlement areas): 1) exterminate/deport the population. Obviously not going to happen (unless real progress is not allowed now and there is some day a consequential fascist backlash). I hope this is not the future. 2) Do nothing and allow the Somali population to grow as a separate community continually at odds with the ‘host’ city. This seems the path of continued clashes which may in fact eventually lead to #1. 3) Have our children get to know your children and hopefully in a generation the Somali population here will have left behind the most barbaric and violent aspects of your home country, while we learn from the best of your culture (for example I like the islamic view of al-riba). This appears the only way forward.

    • RR said

      AllahSoldier,

      I just reread your note. Please tell me more about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now? Why did you move (assuming you relocated)?

      I saw this line:
      >> said he shops in Somali halal market NOT on regular supermarkets in minneapolis

      I am a foodie and think a lot about where I shop, so I thought I would address this point. I do not shop at regular supermarkets. I mostly shop at the Seward Coop. We are a consumer owned coop in the the 60′s Minneapolis tradition of anarchist anti-capitalism (or perhaps the 1860′s Finnish coop tradition. Whatever.) We are very successfull, have just moved into a larger space, and do millions of dollars in business each year. If you are ever in Mpls. check us out! I also grow as much of my own food as possible, belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project so that I can regularly get out to a farm, and also try to support the local markets when possible. For example, when I am making injera I end up going to a halal market to buy teff flour.

      Far from being a tea bagger- most tea baggers would likely dismiss me as a lefty or a green.

      But I have to say, if I had to choose between the sharia which the Somali community seems to be importing to Minnesota and the tea party folks, I will go with the tea party folks. This is the problem: the Somali community is turning a bunch of folks who would normally be your allies into enemies.

      If you have connections in Mpls. please contact them and ask them to integrate better. Ask them to forget about ‘the children’ (i.e. Al Shabaab). Ask them to become Minnesotans.

      As an aside- I spent the day at a birthday party with my child where there were Somali children. This gives me hope.

      • Birm said

        One problem is that people don’t talk to one another enough. I live in an area with African immigrants and it’s usually the native-born folks who complain that the newcomers don’t reach out enough, yet I see little evidence of my fellow native-born people really making much effort at simple things like striking up a conversation with someone from Africa. It goes both ways. I see no evidence of anyone where I live bringing in “sharia law”. In fact, I see many of the younger generation (those who spent much of their lives in the US) making huge efforts to form their lives here while also taking care of their elders, a value that is extremely strong in the African diaspora. These folks are not our enemies.

  22. LovesCats said

    Random Reader is right to be scared. Scared that they and their children will be victims of Somali violence. Violent crimes against Americans are sure to rise as the number of Somalis increase.

    “We also have high-rise public housing that is predominantly Somali”

    Millions of American families are homeless and living in cars and tent cities while well-paid tax-using NGOs/Volags and city bureaucrats hand over desperately needed housing and financial assistance to foreigners. Foreigners brought in to displace Americans like Random Reader. Random Reader will eventually be forced out of the place he/she was ‘born and raised’ in. As the number of Somalis increase the crime rate will increase and the city and state will be bankrupted from all the foreign welfare freeloaders and welfare cheats.

    As Random Reader points out a key part of their plan is to allow no forum for debate in an attempt to silence all pubic opposition to their agenda which is definately NOT in the intrests of Americans.

    Join your local Tea Party. Attend anti-immigration rallies. Join NumbersUSA and ALIPAC and get on their mailing lists.
    Call, email, write letters to your public officials and elected representatives. Call often. Get in their face if you can. Let them know what you think about their handing over taxpayer provided housing and resources to foreigners while turning away homeless and hungry American families.

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