Somali Migration to Maine: it’s the welfare magnet, stupid

Yesterday I brought to readers’ attention that now that the Somali population in Lewiston, ME is large and well-established, the demands for accomodation of Muslim religious practices has begun, see CAIR threatens, here.  Among those who study Islamic supremacism around the world, this is known as the Stealth Jihad (see our entire category here)—changing a country from within to bring about Islamic dominance.

In my post I attributed a role to Catholic Charities in bringing the first Somalis to Maine, and after a little research I found that assertion was accurate.  However, the majority of the thousands of Somalis now continuing to upset Lewiston are secondary migrants resettled by Catholic Charities and other federally contracted agencies in Georgia.    Here is the best summary I’ve found so far about how Lewiston got to the point it’s at now with CAIR breathing down the necks of school adminstrators.  I’ve only taken a bit of this very long and thorough 2002 article, so please read the whole thing.

LEWISTON — Every week, another four or five Somali families arrive in this workaday city on the Androscoggin River.

They are refugees from the clan-wracked ruins of their homeland on the Horn of Africa, from years of waiting in camps in Kenya. And they are migrants from their place of first resettlement in America, more often than not trekking 1,000 miles from the heat and multihued humanity of metropolitan Atlanta to this sparse, wintry, whitest of all states.

They are nomads, their ancient instincts honed to a 21st century edge. Pioneers in a new world, they discovered Lewiston and claimed a bit of it for themselves.

“It’s like finding a small island in the middle of the Pacific,” says Mohammed Abdi, who last year moved here from Decatur, Ga., and was quickly hired as the liaison between the city’s schools and the burgeoning Somali community. “We put it on the map.”

They were originally resettled with American blacks and that wasn’t going so well, an issue we have discussed at RRW on previous occasions.

In their exodus, they say they are looking for peace and quiet, cheaper housing, a more benevolent welfare system, better schools and a place to raise their children — families of seven or more are common —with fewer perils and temptations. That they are leaving a metro area renowned as an African-American mecca to resettle in Maine, home to fewer than 7,000 blacks in 2000, is less a matter of irony than intent, given the prickly state of their relations with African-Americans and a desire to protect their children from assimilating too quickly.

Scouts sent out!   But, I will bet you anything they had some hints from their friends at Catholic Charities which was already resettling Somalis in Portland, ME.

Fed up with life in Atlanta —he was robbed twice — Abdiaziz Ali said members of the Somali community there researched other places on the Internet, comparing crime rates, the cost of housing, test scores. Then they sent scouts to a handful of cities — Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., San Diego, Houston and El Paso in Texas, and Portland and Lewiston in Maine.

Maine was preferred, and Portland was full.

It is cold but the welfare is oh so good!   Note when you read the article that some of the men stayed back in Georgia to continue to work while the wives and kids went to Maine for the welfare.

Indeed, in moving from Georgia to Maine, Somalis are trading one of the nation’s least generous welfare systems for one of its most generous.

Lewiston provides general assistance to anyone in need, splitting the cost with the state. Such relief was unavailable in Clarkston. In Georgia, there is a four-year time limit for receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. In Maine it’s five, but even that can be extended. About a quarter of Lewiston’s Somali families receive that form of welfare, according to the state. And in Maine, a state-funded program assists single parents while they attend college.

There is a waiting list for public housing in Lewiston, but not nearly as long as back in Georgia. About a third of the more than 90 apartments at Hillview, Lewiston’s largest public housing project, have Somali tenants, and about 35 more Somali families have received Section 8 vouchers, which subsidize the rent on private apartments.


Fulfilling that expectation [that people work] is complicated because so many of the Somali families are single mothers and children, the fathers dead, missing, still in Africa or still in Atlanta.

“The men don’t like it here — it’s too cold or too quiet or too behind,” says Fatuma Hussein, whose own husband still drives a taxi in Atlanta, making frequent visits to her and their three young children.

The role of  Catholic Charities

There were no Somalis in Lewiston prior to the colonization that began after 9/11.  Note in the article that Somalis are quoted as saying Portland was “full.”   That would be full of primarily Somalis and Sudanese resettled in Maine by Catholic Charities, the only refugee resettlement contractor in the state for 30 years.   That makes it easy for us to check the numbers Catholic Charities brought.    Not nearly the tens of thousands resettled in other states, but from 1983-2005, Catholic Charities resettled 498 Somalis and 607 Sudanese (I mention the Sudanese because we have heard lots about problems with the “Sudanese community” of Portland recently).  You will see later that the number 498 is inaccurate because in just 3 individual years during that time period, reported in annual reports to Congress, below, the number exceeds 498.

To this day, Catholic Charities is resettling new Somalis in Maine.   The stats aren’t out for 2009 but in 2007 the number of Somalis resettled was 118 and in 2008 it was 60 (that drop may be because of the discovery by the State Department of the fraud in the family reunification program).

I don’t believe the Somali scouts found Lewiston all on their own—-I think there is a really good chance that earlier resettled Maine Somalis and Catholic Charities (CC) in Atlanta tipped-off the scouts to the lucrative welfare in Lewiston.  So, I checked the Office of Refugee Resettlement annual reports to Congress for the years 1997, 1998, and 1999 to see how many Somalis CC had brought to Maine in the years preceding the migration.  Sure enough, in 1997, CC resettled 228 Somalis to Maine, in 1998 the number was 168 and in 1999, 277.  What are the chances that a few of those Somalis were “related” to Atlanta Somalis and told them to ‘come on up, the public assistance is great!’

Piven must be so proud!

Note to readers in Maine: I have many more discoveries I want to share with you in another post, things that  need further research, but this is getting too long!

To all readers:  If you want to learn more about the Lewiston multicultural experiment, search RRW for ‘Lewiston,’ we have written a lot on the topic.

For new readers:

The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.  That specific program has not yet been reopened, but will be soon.  Nevertheless, thousands of Somalis continue to be resettled as I write this.

42 thoughts on “Somali Migration to Maine: it’s the welfare magnet, stupid



  2. Any of you Mainers who put so much as a nickel into the collection plate at a “catholic” church are GUILTY of bringing this about. You think the corrupt bishops and cardinals who finance their lavish lifestyles give a good darn about you, or your community? Well, there’s a reason those bishops carry a shepard’s crook .. they regard you as SHEEP and they don’t mind “fleecing” you! Try picketing or leafleting outside your local parish, and you won’t have to wait long for the “priest” to denounce you as “racist” or “anti – Catholic.”

    Oh, you might also try calling the offices of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumber, Snowe and Collins. They’re Soft-on-Crime liberals pretending to be “conservatives” [aka RINO’s] who couldn’t care less about ordinary Mainers …Inside the Beltway Life is GOOD! [It’s lots warmer in the District of Criminals and the PAY is better, too!]


    1. Yeah, Lamar Smith pulled his punch on the new immigration subcommittee; Steve King was the Man for the job. Encouraging, however, is the new title for this panel: “Subcommittee on Immigration Policy [sic] and Enforcement.” If the Demon-Rat’s had any “policy” on immigration, it was: “more, More, MORE!” Now, the panel’s members know their charter is to determine a policy that serves this Nation’s interests, and see to it that it’s ENFORCED. Gallegly won’t be a bad chairman, and King is still on the committee. The Demon-Rat’s are in the minority so they’ll largely have to Shut Up.


    1. Oh you mean the biased liberal rag Newsweek? The same magazine that celebrated after Obama was elected and we bailed out private companies using taxpayer money that “We’re all socialists now” on the cover? That magazine? Ok, I’ll gladly ignore it except if I need to wipe my dogs ass with something one day then I’ll pick it up.


  3. I would imagine that the Native Americans who were living in Maine prior to the arrival of the European settlers would have felt somewhat similarly… if only they had had stronger immigration policy…
    It is unfortunate that much of what is said on this website is actually believed and felt by many Americans, but that doesn’t make it any less irresponsible to fan the racist sentiments behind those viewpoints. I was involved with the Waterbury, Connecticut incident involving the neglect of the Karen refugees. As a volunteer who became very close to those families, I came away with a much different interpretation of what needs to be changed within America’s resettlement system.
    I read a few of the posts on this website. I am not going to pretend I read all of them. Quite frankly, it’s not worth the time, but I also was getting extremely angry reading them. You seem to target Somalian refugees in particular. I am sure this is largely because they are Muslim, and there appears to have been some negative media attention focused on them. As we all know, the media is always completely objective in what they choose to report. So if they are saying that Somalian refugees are dangerous, primarily because they are starting some secret jihad in America… it must be true. I take it you watch Fox news? I am sure Glenn Beck is all over this.
    Wake up. Terrorists do not come to America as refugees or asylum seekers. It takes years to complete the resettlement process along with countless interviews and background checks. So, why is there some crime within refugee communities? Probably for the same reason there is more crime within socially and economically marginalized communities in America (think inner cities, like Waterbury, CT). That doesn’t mean that we should not allow them to come to America. That means we should provide much greater integration services to those individuals who meet the requirements for resettlement and stop relying so much on community and religious organizations to pick up the slack. There does need to be more monitoring of the affiliate resettlement organizations. I think that is probably one of the few things we are in agreement of.
    One final point, not all refugees are going to be white Christians. Accept that. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you are doing the world some great service by spreading your ultimately racist and sensationalist posts with the world. I am sure the bigot preacher from Florida also sincerely believes he is educating the masses with his Koran burning events. It’s one in the same. You are capitalizing on and encouraging hate by appealing to people’s fear.


    1. Hey K, Here’s what bleeding heart liberals like yourself have gotten us “Somali born teen plotted car bombing in Oregon” at annual Christmas tree lighting.

      Oh wait, it must be a lie because it was reported on Fox news right? The federal agents that arrested him after he called a fake cell phone triggering device twice trying to get it to work to kill Christian Americans must be lying right?
      No, they’re racist right?

      When the somali perp told an undercover agent “I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”
      He was himself lying and didn’t mean that or when he was being arrested and trying to kick federal agents he screamed “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great! It’s us that misunderstood. He’s just a “victim” right??

      It’s people like you, who THINK they know better then the sovereign people of this country that have been attacked and killed by muslims and have seen muslim attacks here foiled thank God, that have created this monster in the first place.

      Every liberal state is having a problem with immigrants overwhelming their state budgets do to generous welfare benefits and on top of people paying for these layabouts we have to worry about them plotting to kill us using OUR tax money to buy the supplies and live on while they do it!

      So tell me again how we are paranoid racists that only criticize these people, not because they’re from nations that openly have people there that want to see our country destroyed and/or turned into a muslim nation itself, but because they have brown skin.

      In your response please list all the people that have been busted trying to kill Americans in the name of Allah that were doing so because because they weren’t treated “fairly” here. Also, list their country of origin and which programs most were participating in. I’ll be waiting with great anticipation to hear you tell me that how we’re all “uneducated,ignoramt racists to be against people who have out and out said they want us and our families dead.

      You sir and people like you in the accuse and hate America first crowd ARE the problem in every issue this great nation faces.


  4. I’ve lived in ME. They’re so open minded their brains fell out long ago. This country will fall from within because of all the stupid decisions made by the liberals. We let in Mexicans and Somalis, but Eastern Europeans are limited. Ahh, they know socialism when they see it and want no part of it. You get what you ask for Losington, ME as many call it.


  5. I live in Maine… Not by choice but because this is where my parents lived.
    As a person of Native American blood… I find it sad to see Turtle Island being invaded again



  6. With due respect, Mainers SHOULD get more welfare than immigrants. It’s their tax money and their parents’, grandparents’, etc.


  7. I’m Somali and I live in Maine.Here is how I see the matter: first of all there are two groups of Mainers.One group who want Somali influx and one who don’t want them.Those who want them are those who own the appartments we live in.And there are angry,mainly disinfranchise mainers who just not use to seeing black,Muslim people in their City.Their dislike may be driven by hate,racisam,and feeling threatened by these different community.To be honest with you,I don’t like living in Maine.People aren’t friendly.You can see their faces they have something againest you.And I;m planing to mave out.I don’t have a large faminly.All I need to do is go to anther place and find work and move from Maine.My advice to all Somalis,move from Maine before these rednecks get mad and start shooting you randamly.Becouse that is all have left.Everything else have been expressed by these people to indicate their feelings toward us.And this is not about welfare.Since I came to Maine I have never been out of work.And I’m fed up with Mainers as well. Their hate is everywhere,work and school.Mainers receive more welfare than Somalis,but they don’t talk about it.This is simply hatarede and racisam compined. If you think what I said is not true go and visit local DHHS and see how many people are Somalis or even black or Muslim in that matter.You will know whta I’m talking about.


    1. You are such a moron! Hmmmm I wonder why it is mostly white people at the Maine DHHS, seeming how MAINE IS THE WHITEST STATE IN THE COUNTRY!!!! Yes, I would expect to see a vast majority of mainers. However if you used just a little bit of common sence, you would realize that a MUCH higher percentage of somalis are on welfare/ tanf/ and anything else you can get your greedy hands on, than mainers. Yes you may have a job; I guarantee you’re still receiving help from my tax dollars. Yes the people of maine who abuse the welfare system as bad as the somalis are just as worthless in my book; but we dont need anymore to add to the problem. The men and women of Maine are among the hardest working in the country. When we are up here busting out ass day in and day out; just to have a group of people to come up here, take jobs from us, live off our tax dollars, while we are just struggling to keep our houses heated, and making a living the honest, hard-working way…. Yah we might have a slight attitude problem toward you… Pack your s*** up and take your friends with you, PLEASE!


      1. maybe you should get some education then you might be capable of paying your bills. Don;t use the immigrants as excuse. By getting some education, you might learn how to respect others and don’t get mad, get glad.

        thank you


    2. Since moving to Maine, a state where my great-grandfather established a robust company until manufacturing moved elsewhere…a state where both my grandmother and mother were born, I have also experienced the unfriendliness, bigotry, and close-mindedness of a certain sector of Mainers. “From away” is tossed at ‘foreigners’ as a badge of honor, yet it strikes a loud defensive chord. Areas like Lewiston that have seen the dissolution of jobs and vibrant economies are not good places for ‘foreigners’ to settle. God bless the people who are not part of the vocal angry male white class, especially those who are at a glance not part of it, who have settled in these areas of the State. The problem we face IS about the country’s and the state’s and its citizens’ inability to meet their/our debts, it is NOT about Muslim jihad or some such racist belief to deflect from our own inability to find alternative economic growth on our own.


  8. I’m back. It’s been a while…
    I’m always waiting for the other shoe to fall. Mainers are only going to take so much.
    I did have to start running my cash paid oil fired furnace. My husband needs to make a visit to the “private pay” doctor again. I need new glasses; after 6 years with these ones. After several hundreds of dollars to keep the cars running; we’re down to using just one again. Inconvenient, to say the least.
    What can be done to put a stop to it?
    How can we know that there is an absent parent out there making money in another state that should be sending child support for THEIR OWN CHILDREN so that the state might be able to allow me and my family to access some of the services that OUR TAXES support?
    I feel something coming on the horizon. I hear that there is going to be a “change to the world as we know it” in 2012. Could it be that the angry and frustrated home grown Americans are going to decide that the government has done enough and it’s time for a change?
    I say take an empty warehouse and put in a green house and hire refugees to work. Have others provide child care so that another could work at a job. It might come down to living a “communal” type of life, but Mainers have always supported other Mainers; given a hand up, not a hand out. Shouldn’t the refugee Mainers be doing the same?

    And no more of that home health care fraud. You don’t need to stand on two legs to be able to sort seeds or read to a child. I have significant medical problems of my own and I am choosing to work instead of becoming a burden on my society. They need to stop doing it too. I’m tired of paying for my own way and having to pay for their’s as well.

    Mad in Maine


      1. Hey Matt,
        Mainers can support anyone they want to, IF they want to. U.S. citizens from any state do NOT owe any other person no matter what the race ANYTHING!
        Good job trying to turn this into a racism argument.
        You must be one of them there scumbag liberal [blank] just like the people who wrote the welfare benefits rules in Augusta that brought these immigrants here in the first place. We all know they’re SO “privileged”, but burdening the taxpayers to continually pay for these layabouts and their families is ok right? Not requiring them to work for benefits is ok right? Not making the Mother’s tell the state who the Father of their kids are so the state can do an investigation to see if they’re not somewhere else working but not paying is ok too right?

        As long as “white” Mainers are paying who cares right?

        Basically in your faux intellectual little comment, “white mainers have always supported other white mainers. Yeh, you’re right about that.” You try to condemn every white person as being racist . What you have really done is shown yourself to actually be the racist here.

        Residents of ANY color don’t owe you, the blacks, the somalis or any other person ANYTHING, got it?! Want something? Get off your ass and go to work. Be man or woman enough to have the pride and dignity to carry your own weight and if someone needs temporary help along the way that’s fine, but it’s people like you I’m supposing and the welfare seekers out there that think they’re “owed” something that make the people that actually pay the taxes that fund these welfare programs want to do away with them altogether.

        So what’s next in the liberal handbook after calling people racist? Oh, I know. It’s the old Marxist tennent of class warfare! Right? Or hasn’t your ex-hippie or hippie wanna be high school teachers or college professors covered that yet?


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