From Mogadishu to Minneapolis

The Twin Cities is home to the largest population of Somali immigrants in the United States. In her latest Washington Times column, Diana West reports the discovery of immigration fraud involving the P-3 family designation in the current United States Refugee Admissions Program:

Within the last week…the State Department confirmed that massive immigration fraud has been perpetrated overwhelmingly by Africans claimed as close kin (parent, spouse, minor child) by legal residents in the United States. (According to a report in the City Pages in Minneapolis, this scam has been netting some unknowns along the food chain up to $10,000 per head.) Given that Somalis form the largest bloc of African immigrants to the United States, this becomes another story with Somalis playing a starring role.

West’s column cites this City Pages article and this State Department fact sheet on the fraud. West concludes her column with a look at the ramifications on Minnesota politics:

Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, who famously swore his 2007 oath of office on the Koran as the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, routinely declares that his 7,000-vote margin of victory came from Somali Muslims. Last month, Mr. Ellison was campaigning for that same Somali Muslim vote on behalf of Mr. Franken.

And what’s newsworthy about that? In this case, the point is not that Mr. Ellison was campaigning for the Somali vote, but rather with whom he was campaigning. According to AsianTribune.com, after Mr. Ellison made a standard, if Somalii-oriented campaign pitch on behalf of Mr. Franken before a gathering of Minnesota Somalis, another speaker appeared before the crowd.

Described in the report as a “highly regarded prominent Somali traditional leader” — i.e., a Somali leader from Somalia, not Minnesota — Abdullahi Ugas Farah spoke on behalf of the Ellison-Franken cause. “In order for Keith to be helpful to the situation in Somalia, you must also elect Al Franken to the Senate,” he said.

Now, there’s something new on the American hustings: a “Somali traditional” leader. Curious, I Googled Mr. Farah and came up with one news story, a 2003 brief from the Asia Africa Intelligence Wire headlined, “New Islamic court opens in Mogadishu.” The story reported that Mr. Farah was one of two speakers who presided over the opening ceremony for a new Sharia court in Mogadishu’s Shirkole area. From Sharia courts in Mogadishu to an Al Franken rally in Minnesota.

Only in … America?

West notes that the State Department is punting the question of what to do with fradulently admitted Somalis over to the Department of Homeland Security. And what is DHS doing with it? My guess is that the fraudulently admitted Somalis have about as much to fear from DHS as does President-elect Obama’s deportable auntie Zeutuni. Help is on the way!

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