WATCH: Somali Refugees Reject Assimilation, Say It’s “Losing Who They Are”

A group of Somali refugees have a message for Americans: They’re not going anywhere, and they don’t want to “assimilate” and “lose who they are.”

One Somali who spoke made the claim “because of us the state of Maine is great” and said “we’re here to stay whether you like it or not.”

AP reported that the refugees saw possibility in Lewiston’s decay.

Word spread quickly, and friends and families followed.

The town morphed in a matter of months into a laboratory for what happens when culture suddenly shifts.

Maine’s population is 94 percent white, and its citizens were abruptly confronted with hundreds of black Muslims, traumatized by war and barely able to speak English.

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