ICE is set to deport dozens of individuals from my district to Somalia, risking the spread of COVID.
ICE’s actions will not only put these individuals at risk, but could have far-reaching consequences for Somalia.
This week, I sent a letter to ICE to get answers.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) September 12, 2020
If only Somalis in Somalia were as nationalistic about protecting the national interests of Somalia as Somali politicians serving in United States offices are nationalistic about Somalia …
One little discussed fact about refugees and asylees (don’t ask me to remember the difference) is how frequently they take long vacations back home in the Mother Country where their lives are supposedly in danger.
Breitbart recounts a paywalled Minneapolis Star-Tribune article (it’s a measure of the madness of the times that the local newspapers high on my priority list to finally pony up to subscribe to tend to be located in formerly boring close-to-the-Canadian border states like Minneapolis and Wisconsin):
MICHAEL PATRICK LEAHY 2 Oct 2016
“Public housing residents in Minneapolis will no longer need to pay their normal monthly rent when travel abroad erases their income, a change particularly sought by East African immigrants,” the Star Tribune reports:
The board of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority approved this week reverting to its previous policy of collecting only minimal rent during extended absences. The change takes effect once approved by federal housing officials, which is expected by year’s end.
Abdi Warsame, a City Council member, told the board that the policy in place for the past five years works a particular hardship on elderly East Africans who must save for long periods if they want to visit their homelands. He said that many receive federal Supplemental Security Income, which is halted when the recipient is outside the United States.
Yet the policy required people to keep paying rent, which is income-based. Travelers gone for 30 to 90 days could apply for a hardship, which meant that they paid the minimum $75 monthly rent during their absence, but were required to make up the difference between that and their normal rent over the next year or two.
The change will mean that residents will pay only the $75 minimum per month, assuming they apply for the hardship status.
A number of Somali refugees living in Minneapolis Public Housing Authority apartments paid for by the taxpayers apparently take such extended overseas trips regularly.
“From 50 to 75 public housing residents report such absences annually, according to Mary Boler, an agency manager. She said the cost of the change will be less than $50,000. The agency found that the paperwork burden of tracking repayment was higher than anticipated,” the Star Tribune notes. ,,,
“This was brought up to us again and again and again in every building we visited in our ward. Everybody was afraid to leave the country,” Warsame told the Star Tribune:
He said common reasons for travel abroad include visiting families left behind or participating in the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are expected to make at least once.
The agency allows a maximum absence of 90 days, after which it takes steps to terminate a lease. …
“Virtually all Somalis who live in the US came here (we are told) as poor refugees,” Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch writes.
“So how persecuted and fearful of returning home are they if many travel back and forth to Africa and the taxpayers of Minneapolis cover most of their rent while they are gone,” Corcoran asks, a question Minnesota voters may have on their mind in November.
Sure, back in 1991, tempers were high toward Rep. Omar’s powerful clan, including her late father, Nur Omar Mohamed, who was a colonel in the Somali army of overthrown dictator Siad Barre during the 1987-1989 Isaaq Genocide. But now … From Colonel Nur’s obituary in Sahan Journal:
It wasn’t just his daughter for whom Nur cheered. In 2018, when Osman ran for a seat in the state Legislature, Nur messaged him from Somalia, where he was visiting.
Similarly, I have always had a hard time taking seriously the common idea that Iran is a genocidal threat to Jews because so many Persian Jewish refugees in Beverly Hills take annual trips home to Tehran to visit relatives and tend to business deals. But, at least, few of them live in public housing.