While taxpayers in the United States are struggling to make ends meet, the federal government in sending exorbitant amounts of money to the many refugees we have taken in. Now the federal government is sending more money to Somali refugees in Maine.
According to the Associated Press, “The United States Department of Agriculture is committing nearly $400,000 to increase food access for the Somali community in Lewiston.”
Members of the Somali Bantu community in the city are partnering with the Cumberland County Food Security Council on the project. The funding is expected to support Somalis’ agriculture and help them reconnect with their cultural heritage.
The USDA says the objectives of the project include building the capacity of the Somali Bantu community and its farmers to produce food and address the problem of limited food access. The agency describes the Somali Bantu community as the poorest community in the city, which is the second largest city in the state.
Cumberland County Food Security Council will recruit people in the community to help increase access to healthy food.
Maine’s Somali community was also just given a $300,000 federal grant which is designed to help limit domestic assaults that are occurring.
“The federal Office on Violence Against Women is giving a Maine immigration resource center $300,000 for sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy in the immigrant community,” according to the Washington Times.
According to a report from Breitbart News, Maine has the third highest Somali refugee resettlement rate out of every state in the country:
Ninety-seven thousand three hundred and eighty-five Somali refugees have been resettled in the United States in the fifteen years since FY 2002, of which 15,710 were resettled in Minnesota, more than any other state in the country, according to the Department of State’s interactive website.
Trailing Minnesota in the top ten states for Somali refugee resettlement since FY 2002 are Ohio (7,551), Texas (7,195), New York (6,169), Arizona (5,682), Georgia (4,113), California (3,731), Missouri (3,246), Massachusetts (3,156), and Tennessee (2,958).
Minnesota also leads the country in the number of Somali refugees resettled over these fifteen years on a per capita basis, with 286.2 Somali refugees resettled per 100,000 residents of the state. (The state’s 2015 population was 5.5 million).
Only two states come close to Minnesota’s per capita Somali refugee resettlement number: North Dakota and Maine.
North Dakota experienced a 131.7 Somali refugee resettlement rate per 100,000 residents (997 refugees over fifteen years in a state with a 2015 population of 756,927).
Maine experienced a 117.9 Somali refugee resettlement rate per 100,000 residents (1,568 refugees over fifteen years in a state with a 2015 population of 1.3 million).
With a growing Somali refugee population in the United States, many are concerned that this community will serve as a location for terrorists organizations to recruit members.
Maine currently has one known link to terrorism in its refugee community. According to Breitbart, Adnan Fazelli, an Iraqi refugee left his family in Maine to fight for ISIS in 2013 and was killed in a battle in Lebanon in 2015.
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