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Trump: Refugees have led to 'tremendous problems' in Minnesota

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the resettlement of Somali refugees in Minnesota has led to "tremendous problems" for the state.

Trump told an audience in Portland, Maine, that admitting refugees from "dangerous places" into the United States is a practice that has to stop.

He then quoted from a 2015 Washington Times article saying Somali refugees in Minnesota are putting stress on the state's safety net and creating a pool of recruiting targets for terror groups.

Trump's comments about Minnesota come about 25 minutes into this video of Thursday's speech.

The top federal prosecutor in Minnesota, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, said last year that Minnesota does have a terror recruiting problem.

In June three Twin Cities men were convicted of trying to join the Islamic State and six others pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Reactions in Minnesota, Maine

The leader of a Minnesota Islamic group argued that Trump is fueling Islamophobia and ignoring the positive contributions of immigrants.

Jaylani Hussein of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told MPR News Trump was "continuing his rhetoric of demonizing." Hussein also told WCCO immigrants have had a huge impact on Minnesota's economy.

A report last year from an economics professor at Concordia University in St. Paul estimated the buying power of African immigrants to the Twin Cities is $800 million per year.

While Minnesota has the country's largest population of Somali immigrants, there is also a community in Maine, some of whom condemned Trump's remarks at a rally organized by Portland's mayor, WLBZ reports.

During his Friday evening speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump reiterated his comments about Somali refugees.

Trump plans to be in the Twin Cities on Aug. 19 for a private fundraiser. There's no word yet of any public appearance while he's in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports Trump has hired Mike Lukach to be his Minnesota campaign manager. Lukach managed Stewart Mills' unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2014.

Minnesota's electoral votes have gone to the Democratic candidate in the last 10 presidential elections. But the Star Tribune notes that – even if Trump doesn't carry Minnesota – raising the profile of his campaign in the state could bring more Republicans to the polls in November, improving the GOP's chances in congressional and legislative races.

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