Former Somali Refugee At Dadaab Ilhan Omar Elected To US Congress

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Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American woman elected to Congress Tuesday night, prevailing in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District over Republican Jennifer Zielinski.

Tlaib won the congressional seat for Michigan's 13th district after former Representative John Conyers abruptly stepped down following sexual harassment allegations, leaving the seat vacant.

"I stand here before you tonight as your Congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name", Omar said in her victory speech, to loud cheers and applause. It is open, with the seat being vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for Minnesota Attorney General. She is also the first Somali American to win election to national office, according to CNN.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor.

Born in Detroit to Palestinian-American parents, Tlaib served in Michigan's state legislature from 2008 to 2014. A proud Palestinian, Tlaib has also been an advocate for Palestinian rights and is an outspoken critic of Trump.

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She shared: "We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible". "This is someone who has cozied up to white nationalists... we should recognize him as what he is and more the conversation beyond him, beyond this divisiveness and to a place of hope, inclusion", Omar added.

Her campaign platform included pledges to secure a $15 minimum wage, preventing cuts to welfare programmes, such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as stopping tax relief to large corporations.

Omar (D), 36, fled war-torn Somalia in the '90s and lived in a refugee camp before moving to the US.

Omar, who came to the United States at age 14, is also a progressive, and she focused on universal health care and tuition-free colleges.

She said her political life began attending local Democratic Farmer Labor party caucuses with her grandfather after arriving in the US.

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