"The census says one thing, and we Somalis say something else. The number is at least 60,000," said Ahmed Ismail Yusuf
"What brought them here first was jobs, actually, that were not available anywhere else," Yusuf said, adding that a poultry plant in Marshall, Minn. was among the first companies to hire Somalis.
"When the first group was hired, and they cashed their checks and just realized it was money, they were intoxicated with that itself. Then the word got out," Yusuf said.
Before long, droves of Somalis came to Minnesota for jobs, a strong non-profit network that helped the new arrivals settle in the state and the opportunity to unite with relatives.