Thursday, March 23, 2023

Profile on U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar

Guest blogger: Angelica Soria, Masters in Migration Studies Student, University of San Francisco:

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar was born on October 4th, 1982, in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu. At the age of 2, her mother had unfortunately passed away, leaving Omar and her 6 siblings to be raised by their father and aunts on their family compound in Baydhabo. However, in 1991 the Somalian civil war pushed Omar and her family out of the country and into a Kenyan refugee camp for about four years. One of her better-known quotes, “By principle, I’m anti-war because I survived a war” was said in an interview with Rolling Stone after she was asked about former President Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria. Later in 1995, Omar’s family had been granted asylum in the United States where they first settled in Virginia but then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1997. The neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside in Minneapolis has the largest population of Somali refugees. By the age of 17 in the year 2000, she became a United States citizen.

Ilhan Omar’s love for politics stems from her trips to the Democratic Party caucuses with her grandfather where she interpreted the meetings for him. She eventually graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Political Science and International Studies in 2011 and after graduation became the campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic’s reelection campaign for Minnesota State Senate. In 2013, she managed Andrew Johnson’s campaign for Minneapolis City Council then served as his senior policy aide for 2 years. She made history in 2016 by being the first Somali-American lawmaker when she unseated a 44-year incumbent in the Minnesota House. Then in 2018, she was elected into the US House of Representatives where she marked multiple firsts; first Somali-American, first naturalized citizen from America, first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Following her election, the 1837 ban on head coverings in the US House of Representatives- which had originally represented the break from the British House of Commons- had been altered to allow Omar to enter the House floor with her hijab.

Through their first term, Omar along with New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, and Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley were deemed “The Squad” because of their fearlessness in advocating for more left leaning legislation. All four members of The Squad are women of color have had targets on their backs from President Trump and his followers because of their leftist ideals. Trump signed an Executive Order in January of 2017, commonly known as the Muslim Travel Ban that banned a number of countries who had majority Muslim populations. Since this, Omar has outright spoken against the Trump era’s racist (and other discriminatory) remarks and legislations. After one particular tweet from Trump in 2019 in which he said Omar and other members of The Squad should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” Omar replied, “His nightmare is seeking a Somali immigrant refugee rise to Congress […] and so we are going to continue to be a nightmare to the president.” Holding true to that, Omar had been one of the first representatives to draft impeachment articles after the January 6th insurrection, actually announcing her intent the day of.

Representative Ilhan Omar’s most prominent stances are in issues regarding immigration, workers and economy, education, environmental justice, healthcare, and foreign policy. Omar supports more rights being given to undocumented immigrants living in the US and the revival of US refugee resettlement agencies as well as the conscious reformation of existing US foreign policies. Omar has been an avid advocate of a $15 minimum wage in order to close the gap between wage and the rising costs-of-living. Along similar lines, she believes in eliminating existing student loan debt and the implementation of tuition-free colleges. The Green New Deal has been one of her more well-known passions in her effort to reduce the United State’s carbon footprint. Another well-known piece of legislation that Omar has loudly supported is Medicare for All. In her interview with the Rolling Stone, she says, “I work every day to make sure we are living in a more tolerant world” which is what we see as she continues her work in Congress.


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Great knowledge i think its very useful for everyone.

Thank you

Posted by: Immivoyage Consultants | Mar 29, 2023 11:54:25 PM

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