Donald Trump on Sunday stepped up his attacks on Muslim refugees, saying they will bring "generations of terrorism" into the US, adding that Minnesota had "suffered enough" since the state has become home to Somali refugees.
Speaking to supporters in Minneapolis, Trump repeated a talking point that Hillary Clinton would increase the number of Syrian refugees coming into the US by 550%. (Clinton said in September last year she supported increasing the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the US from 10,000 to 65,000).
"She wants virtually unlimited immigration and refugee admissions, from the most dangerous regions of the world, to come into our country and to come into Minnesota, and you know it better than anybody," Trump told his crowd. "Her plan will import generations of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism into your schools and throughout your community. You already have it."
Trump pointed to the stabbings in September at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in which nine people were injured. The attacker, who was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, was claimed as a supporter by ISIS, but authorities believe 20-year-old Dahir Adan, a Somali refugee, planned the attack alone, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
"A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed," Trump said on Sunday. "It's the least they can do for you.
"You've suffered enough in Minnesota," he said.
The state demographer's office has estimated between 40,000 and 52,000 people born in Somalia or of Somali descent live in Minnesota. Some leaders within the Somali community estimate the numbers to be higher.
But Trump described that as a disaster.
"Here in Minnesota, you've seen firsthand the problems cased with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval," he said. "And with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world."
Some Minnesotans took to Twitter to decry Trump's remarks as not representative of their state.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges wrote a message to Trump on Facebook, saying he was ignorant of the Minnesota values of coming together to meet challenges.
"Minneapolis is a better, stronger place for having our Somali and East African immigrants and refugees in it," Hodges wrote. "It is a privilege and an honor to be mayor of the city with the largest Somali population in this country. Your ignorance, your hate, your fear just make me remember how lucky we are to have neighbors who are so great."