Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is leaving Washington this week to join a Nancy Pelosi-led congressional delegation headed for various spots in Italy and Africa, where the group will meet with foreign officials and acknowledge the 400th anniversary of the first slaves being brought to America.
The Washington Examiner reports that the delegation is composed of 14 House Democrats, including Pelosi, Omar, Majority Whip James Clyburn, and Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Karen Bass. As the House begins its August recess, the group will visit the U.S. Army Africa headquarters in Italy, as well as the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and the “Door of No Return” in Ghana.
Around 30,000 slaves went through the “Door of No Return” each year to be brought to the New World in ships. The passage has been designated as a way to remember slavery by the U.S. and other western nations.
Firsts for Pelosi
During the visit, Pelosi will become the first U.S. House speaker to address the Ghanaian parliament, and will also talk with high-level officials in the government there, including Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and Speaker Mike Oquaye.
“In Ghana, our delegation looks forward to high-level discussions on key issues such as regional security, sustainable and inclusive development and the challenges of tomorrow including the climate crisis,” Pelosi said. “It is a special honor to be the first U.S. Speaker of the House to address the illustrious Parliament of Ghana, as we build on the partnership between our nations.”
Although Pelosi has criticized Omar and other members of the ultra-liberal “Squad,” recent comments by President Donald Trump have led her to express solidarity with them as valuable members of the Democrat caucus — even, apparently, bringing them along on national security trips.
Omar’s Delicate Situation
But the upcoming trip for Omar, who was born in the African nation of Somalia but came to the U.S. as a refugee in the 1990s and later became a U.S. citizen, has been clouded by reports that she may have committed fraud by marrying a man — possibly her brother — while she was living with and having children with another man. While Omar has tried to quiet these reports, conservative media is digging into her background to see if she is hiding anything illegal.
So far, it has come out that Omar filed joint taxes with Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children, in 2014 and 2015 while she was still married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the man some allege is her brother. She married Elmi in 2009, and he came to the U.S. from London to attend college.
Elmi returned to London after graduation. Meanwhile, Omar continued having children and living with Hirsi. Eventually, she divorced Elmi in 2017 and married Hirsi — but when she ran for state office in Minnesota in 2016, her website showed Hirsi as her husband. The two were not legally married at the time.
Omar has said that she was married “in the faith” to Hirsi, but they divorced in the faith before she married Elmi. They later reconciled while she was married to Elmi, and questions remain about whether the marriage to Elmi was intended to bring him immigration benefits.
It has even been suggested that Omar’s family changed their name and lied to gain asylum in the U.S. that led to her citizenship. If these claims can be proven, Omar may face criminal charges for immigration fraud.
At least one watchdog group and a fellow Minnesota representative have asked for a congressional investigation into Omar’s actions to see if she violated any laws. It is expected that Democrats will decline to investigate her, however; they seem happy to let the freshman congresswoman tag along on their international adventures.