Maine's Somali Community Retaliates After Trump's Comments | NECN
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Maine's Somali Community Retaliates After Trump's Comments

About 10,000 Somalis lives in Portland and Lewiston, Maine's largest cities

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    Somali residents in Maine held a rally Friday afternoon in front of Portland's City Hall to respond to Trump's statement that Somalis are coming from some of the "most dangerous" places. (Published Friday, Aug. 5, 2016)

    The day after Donald Trump's rally in Portland, Maine, members of the Somali community are speaking out against his characterization of immigrants.

    Trump told the crowd of more than 1,000 people that crime is getting worse, and Maine should know because "it's a major destination for Somali refugees."

    Trump then cited a report about Somali immigrants in Minnesota, stating that they were an economic strain, and that they are "creating a rich pool of potential recruiting targets for Islamist terror groups."

    Outside Portland City Hall Friday, more than 100 people gathered to say Trump was wrong.

    "We condemn, in the strongest terms, such name calling, scapegoating, and lies perpetuated by this campaign," said Deqa Dhalac, from the Somali Community Center of Maine.

    Other speakers called on Maine Governor Paul LePage, who is a Trump supporter, to denounce Trump's comments.

    "I challenge you, Governor LePage, to come out and say it's not true," said Abdullahi Ahmed, Deering High School Assistant Principal. "There's no room for hate in Maine."

    Republican Senator Susan Collins released a statement about Trump's Somali comments: "As we debate proposed reforms to our country's immigration system, Mr. Trump's statements disparaging immigrants who have come to this country legally are particularly unhelpful."

    Maine GOP Chair Rick Bennett told the Associated Press he did not think Trump's statements were a declarative statement that Maine's Somali immigrants are dangerous.

    Governor Paul LePage's spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

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