Fact Check: is Lewiston, Maine riddled with Crime since Somali Immigrants Came to Town?
When I listen to people talk about the most “dangerous” places to live in Maine, the city of Lewiston constantly comes up. You wouldn’t want to live in Lewiston, people tell me. All the Somalis have made Lewiston a dangerous place to live, they say. You can see these kind of remarks online, too:
"Hey Happy Somali. Your Kinsman are behaving like entitled jerks. Why?
Do you think it's OKAY to come here to the USA and get away with lawlessness?... When your kinsmen come here, the quote of "YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT" applies. So show some respect. Stop your kinsmen from attacking old ladies and bringing in gangs to fight with the natives in Lewiston and Auburn.
Stop your kinsmen from sex trafficking and other illegal and evil crimes."
"Lewiston used to be a beautiful place in synch with the rest of Maine. Now that some putrid trash libs imported these people Lewiston is a crime ridden run? down dump. I wish I could put into words the utter disdain we have for liberal fecal matter. I just can't think of a strong enough word to label vile pig liberals with."
"I grew up in downtown Lewiston from 1982 until 2003, it's been a dump as far as I can remember. From what I've seen? when I go back to visit, the Somali's certainly didn't help.
It seemed to go from just poor alcoholics to a more violent type. Glad I'm 1400 miles away now."
Ancient Legacy, February 2011:
"Somali refugees completely fucked up Maine.
Instead of assimilating into maine and into the american way of life, they brought their crime, gangs, bad habits, and disgusting behavior to? maine.
They've made lewiston into a "little Somalia" basically turning it into a shit hole.
Fuck you somali's go back to your damn country, stop fucking ours up."
Stuff Black People Don’t Like, September 2012:
Lawrence Auster made mention of the importation of crime to Lewiston that came with the “Great Somali Wave of 2002” back in an entry at View from the Right in 2009. Well, CNS News (CNSNEWS.com) published a hard-hitting article on July 25, 2012 that dared to expose the importation of “crime that normally only Black people in America will commit” courtesy of Somali refugee…
Is this all true? Has Lewiston, Maine descended into crime because of the influx of Somali immigrants?
It’s time for a fact check.
Lewiston, Maine is almost a perfect test case for this sort of claim because the history of Somali immigration is recent and well-documented: the very first Somali family moved to the city of Lewiston in 2001, and having recommended the city to other Somalis, triggered an influx soon afterward (on this point, see Andrew Cullen’s history of Somali immigration to Lewiston in the Kennebec Sun Journal). 2001 is the clear date marking Lewiston before Somalis and Lewiston after Somalis.
If the presence of Somali immigrants led to high crime rates, then crime report data from the FBI (here and here)should show the crime rate in Lewiston rising from a lower pre-2001 level to a higher post-2001 level.
Here’s the data, courtesy of the Uniform Crime Reports:
Violent crime in Lewiston is actually lower than average since the arrival of Somali immigrants.
Property crime in Lewiston is actually lower than average since the arrival of Somali immigrants.
Reality doesn’t support the racist delusion of a Somali crime wave in Lewiston. It’s a shame that reality hasn’t stopped people from spreading race-based tall tales of danger.