This week's New Yorker reports on the Somali population in Lewiston. Here's the press release:
In the December 11, 2006, issue of The New Yorker, William Finnegan reports on the small town of Lewiston, Maine, where, since 2001, a few thousand Somali refugees have resettled after fleeing the civil war that has consumed their country for the past two decades (“New in Town,” p. 46). “With a population of thirty-six thousand, the town was until recently ninety-six per cent white and predominantly Catholic—French-Canadian and Irish—and was slowly losing its young people as local mills and factories closed,” Finnegan writes. “Then, practically overnight, the streets seemed to be full of black African Muslims. Today, there are about three thousand Somalis in Lewiston, and dozens more arrive every month.” He adds, “An improbable migration has turned into a large-scale social experiment.”
More on this via Wikipedia.
Not too long ago, the mayor of Lewiston drafted a letter to the Somali population and asked them to stop coming to his town. The leaders of the Somali population met with the mayor's office and resolved the situation.
A movie was made about the Somalis in Lewiston called The Letter: An American Town and the 'Somali Invasion'
The film is reviewed here.
A nice article about Lewiston/Auburn here.