Representative Ilhan Omar

In January 2019, United States Representative Ilhan Omar became the first African refugee to become a Member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress. Born in Somalia, Representative Omar and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight years old, spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya, before moving to the U.S. in the 1990s. She is passionate about creating a just immigration system and resisting attempts of division and destructive policies that infringe upon human rights and freedoms. Representative Omar co-sponsored amendments to the Libya Stabilization Act, which included “protections for victims of trafficking, slavery, and forced labor, including migrants” to emphasize and prioritize the humanitarian assistance and protection needed by vulnerable populations in Libya. Representative Omar believes that U.S. foreign policy must be centered around human rights, justice, and peace, and, instead of continuously building a global military presence, the U.S. should invest in diplomatic, economic, and cultural engagement to repair international relations and help solve the global migrant crisis. After an airstrike on a migrant detention center in Libya that killed more than 40 people in 2019, Representative Omar demanded that migrants and refugees be protected, not arbitrarily detained or subjected to violent attacks, and stressed that, “The U.S. must unequivocally condemn this crime against humanity and the military offensive of Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, who has vowed to overthrow the UN-recognized government in Tripoli. There is no military solution to the Libyan conflict…we must support the UN-led peace process in Libya.”

Representative Ilhan Omar speaking on the U.S. House of Representatives floor in favor of repealing the travel ban.

Committees: House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee