You are likely very well aware of the Somali former refugee running for Congress to replace Rep. Keith Ellison (the first Muslim man in Congress). Ilhan Omar has a compelling story of sorts as allegations continue to surface that Omar married her brother in some complicated immigration fraud scheme.
Well the first refugee woman ever to run for the State legislature in New Hampshire used her compelling story (the Left loves compelling stories and the media laps them up!) to defeat a longtime Democrat in the primary.
By the way, Omar also unseated an incumbent Democrat in her primary in Minnesota.
But, I am posting the story of Afghan (via Uzbekistan) refugee, Safiya Wazir, because a bit of her story is instructive about the funny business in the US Refugee Admissions Program.
Here is the news from PRI (Hat tip: Joanne). It is a long story so I am skipping to the sections I found most informative.
This former refugee could win a seat in one of the whitest statehouses in America
She was 6 when violence divided her home, Afghanistan. Wazir remembers bombings and shooting when the Taliban arrived. Her dad was able to get the family out of the country.
“I remember my dad being in a black car sitting in front and I was sitting in the back with my mom, putting my head down on her lap, that far I remember,” Wazir says. “And then after that, I have no idea.”
They went to Uzbekistan. It was 1997. Wazir learned Russian.
So they had been safely settled (for ten years!) in Uzbekistan, a Muslim country adjoining their home country. Why were they even a candidate for resettlement to America?
Wazir remembers being in a meeting with a refugee resettlement agency, where her dad asked to be sent somewhere peaceful. They landed in Concord in 2007. [She would be a George W. Bush refugee. Bush’s State Department was doing some questionable activity in Uzbekistan at the time.—ed]
After graduation, when Wazir was in community college, one subject kept coming up at home. It was time for her to get married.
“I would be like, ‘Mom, it’s too early. Just forget it,’” she says.
But Wazir’s mother won that debate.
So Wazir went to Afghanistan, married the man her parents chose for her and came back.
She went back to the country she escaped from?
The country where her family said they would be persecuted and thus feared to return, which is the whole basis for a refugee status determination in the first place!
It the President wants to reform the US Refugee Admissions Program, one easy fix is to disallow any returns, ever, for any reason, to the country a refugee said was unsafe for them.
We hear it all the time, Somalis go back to Somalia to visit the family (or whatever!), some (Bosnians) return to their countries of supposed persecution to sell property, and we even learned that Syrians traveled back for religious holidays. Frankly, it is outrageous!
The PRI story continues with many paragraphs about unwelcoming New Hampshire.
Wazir’s friend, an African refugee thought of running for office, but he thought it would be hopeless in white New Hampshire. Here is what he said about Wazir.
D’Almeida had thought about running for office himself — maybe city council — but he dismissed the idea as impossible. And in the end, that’s why he thinks Wazir is running for office: to prove a refugee can.
There are a lot of lessons in this story.
But, bottomline is that if you are a minority, especially a refugee, a female refugee, with a warm and fuzzy personal story then the sky is the limit for your political aspirations.