Former Dadaab refugee elected to US Congress

Rashida Tlaib

Tlaib is endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, a burgeoning left-wing group that also counts New York Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among its members.

Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. She ran unopposed in a congressional district that stretches from Detroit to Dearborn, Michigan.

"I did not expect to come to the United States and go to school with kids who were anxious about food as much as I was anxious about it in a refugee camp", Omar said in an interview last month.

She spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the United States at age 12. Eventually, she learnt the language by watching television.

Omar, in addition to being one of the first Muslim women in Congress, will also be the first Somali-American member. She supports free college education, housing for all, and criminal justice reform.

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Omar has been an advocate for a single-payer health care system, reforming immigration policies to create wider opportunities for migrants and refugees, and stricter gun laws.

Tlaib, 42, was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.

For Tlaib, Tuesday's election marks the second time she will have made history in recent years.

Tlaib's win comes after the 2016 election of Trump spurred a record number of women to put their names on the ballot. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.

Like Omar, she blazed a trail through MI politics, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the MI state legislature in 2008. Jones, in turn, had won a separate primary to fill the term of John Conyers, who resigned last December after multiple charges of sexual harassment. She has a bachelor's degree in politics from North Dakota State University and has also studied public affairs. She won the Democrat primary for the seat in August with around a third of the total vote share.

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