Congresswoman Ilhan Omar stands accused of immigration/marriage fraud and bigamy.
More precisely, Somalia-born, now-naturalized Ilhan Omar is accused of marrying her own brother while being married to another, as well as misuse of campaign funds, two probably unrelated matters.
The apparently cosmopolitan Omar, 36, is said to have used $3,000 in campaign funds for personal travel, including a trip to Estonia. The somewhat jumbled AP Account of these events fails to explain why she went to that little country, which seems to be distant from either her background or her political ambitions.
Omar admits the marriage to Elmi, and says that he is not her brother, but refuses to release any documents or specific information to support her story.
Omar’s political skills — no matter to whom she is (or was) married — are remarkable. She unseated the senior member of the Minnesota legislature in a Democratic primary two years ago and, it being a strong Democratic district, she was unopposed in the fall of 2016. She is the first Somali elected to that body, and the first in the U.S Congress.
Next, the congressman for her district, Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), another Muslim, narrowly failed to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee last year and opted this year to seek office as the Minnesota attorney general (a position once held by Walter Mondale, later a senator, a vice president, and an ambassador to Japan). This left an open seat in the national House (it is mostly the city of Minneapolis) and she again secured the Democratic nomination.
What we have here is a story of a controversial Congresswoman who has put together what may be immigration-related marriage fraud by adroitly using a combination of:
- U.S. law to get (presumably) a green card for Elmi;
- The chaos in Somalia, which she says eliminated the possibility of obtaining birth certificates for herself or her alleged brother;
- Traditional marriages and divorces (i.e., unrecorded with the authorities) when they met her or her alleged brother’s needs.