The Slatest

Trump’s Anti-Somali Refugee Comments at Minnesota Rally Weren’t Even a Dog Whistle

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, launched into an anti-immigrant invective during a campaign rally in Minnesota Thursday night that served as the latest example of how he has grown more brazen, more explicit in his chauvinism. From the stage, in front of a sea of white faces in Minneapolis, Trump laid bare the race-and-ethnicity-based politics he plans to run on. Trump not-so-subtly painted the thousands of Somalis that live in the state as unwanted interlopers.

“As you know 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 to the crowd who responded with boos of support. “I promise you, as president, I would give local communities a greater say in refugee policy and put in place enhanced vetting and responsible immigration controls. And I’ve done that.”

Minnesota is home to the largest concentration of Somalis in America, a group that has been repeatedly met with scorn by Trump. “Since coming into office I’ve reduced refugee resettlement by 85 percent,” Trump continued to cheers. “And, as you know, maybe especially in Minnesota, I kept another promise: I issued an executive action making clear no refugees will be resettled in any city or any state without the express written consent of that city or that state.”

“You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods and that’s what you have the right to do right now, and believe me, no other president would be doing that,” Trump continued. “In the Trump administration, we will always protect American families first and that has not been done in Minnesota.”

“We will not make the mistakes made in European countries and allow a violent ideology to take root in our country on our shores, we’re not going to allow it to happen,” Trump said.