Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing questions after a report was unable to disprove that she married her brother to protect his immigration status.
As IJR previously reported, the congresswoman came under fire after the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board uncovered the fact that the congresswoman had filed joint taxes with a man she wasn’t legally married to.
Omar filed taxes with her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was legally married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper, broke down Omar’s marriage history:
- Omar married Hirsi in a religious ceremony in 2002, but the couple never legally wed.
- She and Hirsi split in 2008, citing that the couple had met an “impasse in [their] life together.”
- The congresswoman legally married Elmi in 2009. The couple split in 2011, but did not legally divorce until 2017.
- In 2012, Omar reconnects with Hirsi and the couple have their third child.
- Omar legally married Hirsi in 2018.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board found that Omar had filed joint-taxes with Hirsi in 2014-2015, though the two were not legally married.
The report struggled to gain mainstream traction in the state, as reporter David Steinberg explained.
The Alpha News report cited social media reports where Elmi and Omar appeared to be siblings, rather than spouses, including one post from 2012 congratulating Hirsi and Omar on the birth of their third child, who Elim referred to as his “nieces.”
Now, a new report from the Star Tribune largely verified the findings of Alpha News and drew more questions about the marriage history of Omar and Elmi.
“The search of records could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that he is Omar’s sibling,” the Tribune reported, noting that they had both declined to comment on the story.
Several people responded to the reports by Alpha News and the Star Tribune, raising even more questions to Omar about her first legal marriage.
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 23, 2019
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 23, 2019
This could seriously be ground for de-naturalization and deportability https://t.co/TSOi7e0120
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) June 23, 2019
For now, it isn’t clear what will happen. Omar has refused to respond to reports about the allegations, neither denying or affirming the reports. Prior to the publication of the Tribune report, her spokesperson released a statement on Friday saying:
“Whether by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim elected officials or hounding family members, legitimate media outlets have a responsibility not to fan the flames of hate. Continuing to do so is not only demeaning to Ilhan, but to her entire family.”
Now that the story has broken into Minnesota’s mainstream, it remains unclear what her team’s response will be.