Criticizing Donald Trump’s actions and words, advocating for justice and equality, and standing against white supremacy in our communities does not imply the endorsement of a specific political party.

In today’s polarized landscape, labels are attached to everything. Immigrants advocating for their communities are often unfairly branded as “liberals,” “Democrats” or part of “The Left.” Yet, in Maine’s largest immigrant community, no one wishes to be confined to a specific political label, be it Democrat or Republican. With over 50,000 immigrants in Maine, I don’t ever see political parties in this community. Despite coming from different parts of the world, we all share a common goal of fighting for our community together, a stance that, according to Maine’s Conservatives, automatically categorizes us as left-leaning.

Abdi Nor Iftin is a Somali-American writer, radio journalist and public speaker. He lives in Yarmouth and can be contacted at

Consider the impact of former Gov. Paul LePage’s attacks and dehumanization of the predominantly African immigrant population. His second term was during my early days in the U.S. and I was not aligned with any political party at the time. I was excited to be here, a place I had admired for many years, and I wanted to explore the country’s beautiful landscape, culture and food. However, LePage’s disparaging remarks towards Black people shattered my enthusiasm, making me feel unwelcome in this beautiful state. In that moment of despair, a large population of Mainers, old and new, came to immigrants’ defense and supported us, revealing who I could align with in Maine. It wasn’t about Democrats, Republicans or independents, it was about aligning with those who saw us immigrants as full humans deserving of a thriving life in Maine.

When Trump came into power, everything changed for Maine’s immigrant communities. Faced with adversity, we rallied together for the safety of our community, with some members even running for office for the first time alongside the political party that seemed to understand our need for security. Immigrant involvement in Maine politics emerged as a response to the dehumanization by Conservatives and certain members of the Republican party in Maine.

One of the worst messages I received was someone calling me an “America hater,” a heartbreaking moment because sometimes I believe native-born Americans don’t love this country as much as I do. That message was a blow to the American dream I had embraced since I was 9 years old. This misconception highlights the nightmare many members of the asylum-seeker community and immigrants face daily – conservative Trump supporters assuming we hate America while they claim to love it. So, it’s not surprising when immigrants vote alongside parties that stand up for justice and love and against hate.

Immigrants often express pride in their countries of origin, maintaining a strong connection, for example, to the flags and languages of their home countries. The presence of flags or maps from countries like Rwanda, Congo, Syria or Somalia in immigrant households showcases that desire to stay connected and is not anti-American or inherently liberal.

Naturalized immigrants take pride in America, participating enthusiastically in events like the World Cup. While cheering for Team USA, immigrants demonstrate a genuine sense of pride and connection to their adopted country, challenging the widespread belief that immigrants don’t appreciate America.

Maine’s Black and brown immigrants may attend mosques or churches, but our deep attachment to Christian or Islamic faith coexists with a profound love for our adopted country’s culture. It’s crucial for Conservatives to understand the multifaceted nature of immigrant pride and the intricate connections we hold for our various identities.

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