Even with mounds of evidence to the contrary to SNOPES findings…
In 2016, when it looked like Ilhan Omar stood a good chance of becoming the first Somali-American elected to the Minnesota state House of Representatives, rumors swirled that she had married her brother in an illegal effort to facilitate his obtaining U.S. citizenship status.
Omar did win a seat in Minnesota’s House of Representatives, and two years later she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Like her peer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Omar is young, outspoken, and champions progressive politics. And also like Ocasio–Cortez, Omar has been a frequent subject of unfounded rumors (particularly ones that have targeted her family and religious background).
The rumor about Omar’s brother that surfaced during her 2016 Minnesota campaign followed her as she assumed her new leadership role representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019:
ILHAN OMAR SHARES HER EXTREMISTS VIEWS IN RARE 2013 VIDEO…
DOCUMENTS SHOW SHE MARRIED HER BROTHER IN IMMIGRATION SCHEME TO ACQUIRE A GREEN CARD…
WHAT ELSE IS SHE HIDING?
The origin of the rumor captured in the above tweet is spotty. The claim first appeared in 2016 as an anonymous, since-deleted post on SomaliSpot, an online discussion forum geared toward the Somali community. Despite being unverified, the post was picked up by Powerline, a blog that “features commentary on the news from a conservative perspective,” who reported in a 12 August 2016 post that:
A reader has written us to point out that the Somali website Somalispot posted information suggesting Omar’s involvement in marriage and immigration fraud. The post notes that Omar married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002. Hirsi is the father of Omar’s three children. Omar is depicted with Hirsi and their children on Omar’s campaign website here.
The post further notes that Omar married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, implying that the latter marriage assisted his entry into the United States. Her brother was a British citizen. “As soon as Ilhan Omar married him,” the post continues, “he started university at her [a]lma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom where he now lives.”
In response to the rumor, Omar issued a statement in 2016 describing the issue as one based on “a difficult part of my personal history that I did not consider relevant in the context of a political campaign,” and she labeled accusations that her former husband was also her brother “absurd and offensive.”
Read the rest at: SNOPES