LEWISTON, Maine (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Lewiston’s mayor has clarified comments he made about the city’s Somali population has but has stopped short of an apology.
Mayor Robert Macdonald said before Tuesday’s city council meeting that his comments had been taken out of context.
MacDonald, a former U.S. Marine and city police officer, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that immigrants are costing the city a lot of money and they should “accept our culture and leave your culture at the door.”
He said Tuesday that he meant that immigrants should try and assimilate into American culture, but he did not mean they need to give up their language, religion or traditions.
Some have called for Macdonald’s resignation and said Tuesday’s statements were not enough.
“The mayor’s office shouldn’t be a platform for making these kinds of racist and anti-immigrant statements,” a Maine People’s Alliance statement said, according to the Bangor Daily News. “Mayor MacDonald should apologize for his remarks and should resign as mayor so that we can put this behind us and move forward, creating a stronger community together.”
About 6,000 Somali’s have been resettled in Lewiston.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)