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Right Direction | Ilhan Omar and her immigration, marriage and tax problems

ILHAN Abdullahi Omar, born on Oct. 4, 1982 in Mogadishu, Somalia, is an American politician, serving as the U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019.

Omar is a proponent of Medicare for all, abolishing ICE, tuition-free college and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Tiberiu Dianu

She is one of President Trump’s constant detractors, and also a member of the infamous “Squad.” The term “Squad” was used as a caption in November 2018 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then a Democrat representative-elect from New York, for a posted photo of herself with three progressive women of color who, like her, were soon to be members of Congress — Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts).

The four Democrats voted against a border funding bill, causing problems with the leadership of their own party.

Because of their constant criticism of traditional American values, President Trump got involved with tweets (that didn’t name the four congresswomen, but seemed directed at them), telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

However, taken into account Omar’s notorious anti-ICE position, it comes as no shocker the allegations about her fraud marriage and tax/immigration problems.

The claim that Omar wed illegally her brother, so he could gain American citizenship, first appeared in 2016, in an online Somali politics forum and then on conservative blogs, when she was running for the Minnesota state legislature.

In short, Omar is the youngest of seven siblings. Her mother died when she was two. Her family fled Somalia to escape the war and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya, near the Somali border.

Her father, Nur Omar Mohamed, together with Ilhan and her sister, Sahra Noor, arrived in New York in 1992 and secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995. They lived for a couple of years in Arlington, Virginia, then, in 1997, they moved in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Omar’s other three siblings, Mohamed Nur Said Elmi, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi and Leila Nur Said Elmi live in the United Kingdom.

In 2002, Omar, at 19, marries in her “faith tradition” (that is, religiously, not civilly or legally) 22-year old Ahmed Hirsi (né Aden). They have two girls together. Omar claims that in 2008 she and Hirsi had a religious divorce.

In 2009, Omar, now 26, legally married 23-year old Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen, who studied Arts at the North Dakota State University until 2011. In February 2009, Omar and Elmi both listed their address in their marriage application as a home in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, across the river from Omar’s other address. In various Instagram pictures, Elmi refers to Omar’s two girls as “nieces” stating that “these girls rock my world” and Omar gave “likes” to the pictures two years after she supposedly split with Elmi.

Just three months after Omar’s legal marriage to Elmi, Hirsi used the same address to obtain a business license for his One-on-One Cafe Lounge. This document and others seriously undermine Omar’s claim that she was ever separated from Hirsi between 2009 and 2011.

Omar alleges that she and Elmi had a religious divorce in 2011, but she actually divorced him legally only in 2017.

In 2012, Omar and Hirsi “reconcile” and have a third child together.

In 2014 and 2015, Omar files joint tax returns with Hirsi, although she was legally married to Elmi.

In 2016, Omar, endorsed by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, is elected to the Minnesota House. At the same time, her campaign is plagued by allegations suggesting that Elmi is her brother and they married for unspecified immigration benefits.

In 2017, Omar is granted a legal divorce from Elmi. She wrote during divorce proceedings that she had not contacted or known the whereabouts of Elmi since the summer of 2011. She also said that she had no means of contacting him, and that Elmi „has not signed a declaration of non-paternity as [Omar] has had no contact with him since before the child was conceived.” Contradicting this claim are images from Elmi’s social media account, which show Elmi with the child Ilwan on her day of birth.

In 2018, Omar legally marries Hirsi and is elected to Congress.

Recently, President Trump repeated the claim that Ilhan Omar married her brother.  See:


Somali children are usually given a three-part name. The first name is a chosen name. The middle name, traditionally, is the first name of the child’s father. And the third name is the child’s paternal grandfather’s first name. Women usually do not change their last name when they marry, so married parents will often have different last names, according to sources.

In other Facebook posts of Omar’s relatives and acquaintances, she is identified as Ilhan Nur Said. As noted before, women do not take on their husband’s name when they get married. Omar has kept her legal name when she married religiously to Ahmed Hirsi and married legally to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.

In the end, it is also worth mentioning the fact that in 2008, a year before Omar legally married Elmi, The Wall Street Journal reported that the refugee program in Africa was halted by the United States because thousands of Africans lied about their family ties in order to enter the United States. At the time, the State Department said that it began DNA testing with a pilot program launched in February 2008 to verify blood ties among African refugees. Tests found that some applicants lied about belongings to the same family.

Some questions for Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is also a vocal supporter of President Trump releasing his tax documents to the public:

(1) Why Omar does go by Ilhan Abdullahi Omar?

(2) What is Omar’s father’s legal name?

(3) Is Ahmed Nur Said Elmi her biological brother?

(4) How did Omar explain the same Minnesota address of hers, Hirsi’s and Elmi’s between 2009 and 2011?

(5) Would any of Omar’s relative be willing to clarify all these family-related inconsistencies?

(6) With whom did Omar file joint tax returns between 2009 and 2013?

(7) Why did Omar file joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Hirsi, and not with Elmi, with whom she was legally married at the time?

(8) Why much of her social media was deleted after the first articles about her marriage, tax and immigration problems were published?

I hope that Rep. Ilhan Omar does not use again her drumbeat on race to refuse to answer these questions.

Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles on law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. and can be followed on Medium