Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Immigrant Tales

 

Consider two tales of African immigrants in America. One tale is of large populations crammed down local communities, possibly with massive fraud and likely with domestic political intent. The second tale is of worthy individuals, invited for their excellence and gratefully contributing to this country.

Pretending the first does not exist is an insult to the injured Americans, whose local economies and electoral power were quite deliberately infringed upon. Pretending the second does not exist is an insult to our founding ethos, to our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

The Somalis in Minnesota:

There are real concerns, raised with some evidence on PowerLine, that a significant portion of the Somali community, a community and not a carefully disbursed set of individuals and families, are here under fraudulent claims. It is asserted that this is what binds them to elect and continue to support Ilhan Omar, who may have come here with her father under a false name, because his true name would mark him as villain, not victim, in the Somali power games.

That underlying problem must be cleared with sunshine if the corruption of local and state politics is to be cured. However, many of these former refugees are now American citizens, trying to find their way in our society. So, there are better and worse ways to speak of and to act in response to the threat to our immigration system and our constitutional republic.

President Trump got a huge response to his lines in the Minneapolis MAGA rally about refugee groups being imposed on local communities. He specifically named the Somalis, because he is focused on Rep. Omar. He name-checked Scott Johnson of Powerline and met with him very briefly before the rally. Scott Johnson is deeply concerned that President Trump hit the wrong note.

When he turned to the subject of immigration, the president singled out Minnesota’s Somali community. “For many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers,” he said. The remark predictably elicited boos from crowd.

I cringed. This isn’t the way to do what needs to be done. It’s not right.

How did my Somali sources — they treat me like a trusted friend — react?

…Source A loved that President Trump had quoted me saying that everything about Omar is a fraud, including her name. This is where I had come in with him three years ago….

Somali source B texted me on Friday morning. Source B comes at politics from the left. When it comes to the facts of the Omar case, I have found source B to be 100 percent reliable. Source B commented by text:

I’m in the space where I want her to fail but I can’t help Trump win. He can love America without hating us so much. It’s frightening to hear a president openly hate us this much. Anyway I needed to say that…

…We need to find a way to discuss the difficult issues raised by the the flood of immigration without provoking a good-faith reaction like this.

So, there is a real problem in concentrated Somali communities, and there are also people in those communities who want to really be Americans. How do we reinforce what we want and counter bad actors? Part of the answer comes in highlighting virtuous immigrants, model citizens. Consider two young American soldiers who were both born in Kenya.

Great Americans by choice:

Every year, the U.S. Army has a 10-mile race in Washington DC. You have to get in about six months out when registration opens for the Army 10-Miler. It is a bit of a mob scene, with a lot of unit and individual participants there to show the colors, or honor someone.

At the front of the Army 10-Miler pack, there are some serious runners. This year, the male and female winners, Lawi Lalang and Elvin Kibet, were both American soldiers, who are also world-class athletes, and who were born in Kenya. Stars and Stripes tells the story from this past Sunday:

When Lalang and Kibet were teenagers in Kenya, University of Arizona associate head track coach James Li visited the country to watch Lalang run a time trial. Kibet was also at the track that day, and Li kept an eye on Kibet, who had just picked up running.

Li became impressed with both, and Lalang and Kibet starred on Arizona’s cross-country and track and field teams. Then, a few years after they graduated, Lalang and Kibet joined the Army.

On Sunday morning, Lalang and Kibet were the top finishers at the Army Ten-Miler in the men’s and women’s races, respectively. Lalang finished in 48 minutes 38 seconds, while Kibet ran 54:05.

Notice that both of these proud American soldiers were sought out, recruited to the United States by a serious NCAA track and field program. They ran for their degrees, got their education, and then individually made the decision to really give back to the country that welcomed and gave them such opportunity. After they won, Elvin Kibet was excited about something else:

This weekend was her first time visiting Washington, so she planned to view the White House on Sunday afternoon.

President Trump should put Fort Carson, Fourth Infantry Division, and the World Class Athlete Program on his travel itinerary soon. He should praise all the soldiers and highlight, as only he can do, these two great Americans. He should talk about legal immigrants joining our great experiment in self-government and showing their appreciation by making American even greater.

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There are 7 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Clifford A. Brown: President Trump should put Fort Carson, Fourth Infantry Division, and the World Class Athlete Program on his travel itinerary soon. He should praise all the soldiers and highlight, as only he can do, these two great Americans. He should talk about legal immigrants joining our great experiment in self-government and showing their appreciation by making America even greater.

    Sounds like a fine idea to me.

    • #1
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:06 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Sweezle Member

    I cringed when Trump singled out Minnesota’s Somali community at his rally. They aren’t all like Omar spewing her anti-Semitic hate and her anti-American beliefs. Many and maybe most want to be Americans and will contribute to this country in very positive ways. The way they were brought here from refugee camps and lumped together in large communities has caused some problems. But we can help the assimilation process if our leaders use praise and avoid scorn.

     

    • #2
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:07 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. Tex929rr Coolidge

     My hometown of Portland, ME, also accepted a large number of Somali immigrants. The nearby smaller cities of Lewiston and Auburn also had a significant influx and I know it caused lots of problems there. I think Portland eventually worked it out but I only visit there once a year and not for very long. I think we have some Ricochettis who live there – I’d like to hear their take on it. Portland Maine is rapidly becoming as crunchy as Portland, Oregon, so that might be a factor. 

    • #3
    • October 15, 2019, at 6:25 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Clifford A. Brown:

    When he turned to the subject of immigration, the president singled out Minnesota’s Somali community. “For many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers,” he said. The remark predictably elicited boos from crowd.

    I cringed. This isn’t the way to do what needs to be done. It’s not right.

    How did my Somali sources — they treat me like a trusted friend — react?

    …Source A loved that President Trump had quoted me saying that everything about Omar is a fraud, including her name. This is where I had come in with him three years ago….

    Somali source B texted me on Friday morning. Source B comes at politics from the left. When it comes to the facts of the Omar case, I have found source B to be 100 percent reliable. Source B commented by text:

    I’m in the space where I want her to fail but I can’t help Trump win. He can love America without hating us so much. It’s frightening to hear a president openly hate us this much. Anyway I needed to say that…

    …We need to find a way to discuss the difficult issues raised by the the flood of immigration without provoking a good-faith reaction like this.

    I do not see Source B as a good-faith reaction.

    President Trump pointed out the impact of allowing entry to large numbers of refugees, on local schools and communities and taxpayers. This seems to be a perfectly reasonable point.

    Source B reacted by objecting to the President “hating us so much.”

    This is a hysterical overreaction and, quite frankly, defamatory. There is no indication that the President hates anyone. He is objecting to a legitimate problem — and, as usual, the Left has no response, so it responds with a false accusation of “hate.”

    At least, this is the way that I see it. Am I missing something?

    • #4
    • October 15, 2019, at 11:01 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a hysterical overreaction and, quite frankly, defamatory. There is no indication that the President hates anyone. He is objecting to a legitimate problem — and, as usual, the Left has no response, so it responds with a false accusation of “hate.”

    Yeah. I didn’t see the hate either.

    • #5
    • October 15, 2019, at 4:19 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a hysterical overreaction and, quite frankly, defamatory. There is no indication that the President hates anyone. He is objecting to a legitimate problem — and, as usual, the Left has no response, so it responds with a false accusation of “hate.”

    Yeah. I didn’t see the hate either.

    Yes, and we are not on the receiving end of being called out as a group, by name. Understand that the individual in question has placed himself at risk with his community by communicating confidentially with Scott Johnson, sharing information damaging to Ilhan Omar. So “leftist” won’t work here as a rule of thumb for dismissing the claimed perception out of hand.

    There is absolutely a real issue, especially in Minnesota. 

    The local press admits in print that “Minnesota has the most refugees per capita in the U.S.

    Look at the state government website and you see they are really in the business of linking federal dollars to local politics through “refugee resettlement:”

    The Refugee Resettlement Programs Office is a federally funded office in the Minnesota Department of Human Services that supports the effective resettlement of refugees in Minnesota, and ensures their basic needs are met so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential. This office ensures accessibility to mainstream programs for people with refugee status, distributes federal dollars to local agencies for supplemental services, and provides education and information about refugees in Minnesota.

    The churches, perhaps because they are looking dollars from congregants, have bellied up to the federal trough. See “Arrive Ministries.”

    Arrive Ministries (formerly World Relief Minnesota) was started in 1988 to address, at that time, the needs of largely Hmong, Vietnamese, Russian and Ukrainian refugees coming to Minnesota. Under the direction of Transform Minnesota (formerly GMAE), Arrive Ministries has resettled more than 11,000 refugees in Minnesota from more than 50 different countries and over 120 language groups.

    Here is why the Somali has a point about being singled out:

    There are around 66,000 Hmong in the Twin Cities area

    There are around 20,000 Vietnamese in Minnesota.

    What makes the Somalis stand out is the sheer number in a relatively short time, the decision to cluster rather than disperse people, and the semi-official endorsement of retreat into strict religious identity. From Arrive Ministries:

    Currently, Minnesota has the largest number of Somali’s in the U.S, estimated to be around 77,000 or moreWhy here? Somalis originally came to Minnesota because of the good economy and low unemployment. More recently they have come because there is a recognized community here — Somali shops, businesses and restaurants.

    No discussion of the Somali people would be complete without discussing their religion, which is Islam. To be a Somali, is to be Muslim. With the war and displacement, many Somali’s have seen their difficulties as a judgment of God (Allah), for not correctly practicing their religion. In response to this, there has been a revival of religious observance.

    • #6
    • October 15, 2019, at 5:02 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Seawriter Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a hysterical overreaction and, quite frankly, defamatory. There is no indication that the President hates anyone. He is objecting to a legitimate problem — and, as usual, the Left has no response, so it responds with a false accusation of “hate.”

    Yeah. I didn’t see the hate either.

    The left is looking at a mirror and thinking it is a window. Yes, they are seeing hate. The problem is it is their reflection.

    • #7
    • October 15, 2019, at 5:52 PM PST
    • 5 likes