Ilhan Omar, a refugee and a Somali-heritage Muslim woman who veils, has won the Democratic primary for Minnesotas 5th District congressional seat, hoping to succeed Keith Ellison. The district, which includes Minneapolis, typically votes heavily Democratic, so she has a good shot at winning the seat.
Somalia is one of five Muslim-majority countries from which immigration is currently banned, though immigration is restricted from Venezuela (a few officials) and North Korea, as well. The actual targets of the ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Under Trump administration policy, in other words, Omar would not have been allowed to enter the country as an immigrant. Under Trump, she also would have been highly unlikely to be granted refugee status and asylum in the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. admitted some 85,000 refugees, about evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Based on the first five months of this year, it is likely that the U.S. will admit only 45,000 refugees in 2018, and that only 17 percent of them will be Muslim. The open racism and bigotry of this administration is already being enshrined in our immigration statistics. Legal immigration is on track to be cut 12 percent from Barack Obamas last year in office, and the number of Muslim immigrants has fallen by 33 percentnearly three times as much as overall immigration. European immigrantion is slightly up, though still dwarfed by Asia and Latin America. It is remarkable that for all his rhetoric, Trump hasnt managed to substantially cut legal immigration, and his own Republican Congress has rebuffed the bills he submitted to abolish certain kinds of immigrant visas.
But African immigration is down, and Muslim immigration is down, and Ilhan Omar is precisely the demographic that Trump (and his horrid mini-me, Stephen Miller) have targeted.
Omar did not win because she compromised, but because she boldly took stances approved by the public, even if the class of cranky, rich, old white people thinks them utopian or too costly (something they never say about the Pentagon budget or our forever wars).
She is for Medicare for all. She endorses abolishing ICE, which was created in 2004.
Minneapolis is about 64 percent white, 5 percent Asian, and only 18 percent African-American, so Omars victory was in no way based on...