The 2018 Midterm Elections broke records in more ways than one, especially for minorities. This includes the election of a number of former refugees, to whom USCRI extends its warmest congratulations.
After fleeing Somalia’s civil war with her parents at the age of eight and spending four years at a refugee camp in Kenya, Ilhan Omar’s election in Minnesota has made her one of the first female Muslim representatives.
About 1,100 miles away, New Hampshire saw a similar victory with the election of Safiya Wazir to the State House. A former Afghan refugee who fled the Taliban, she is an inspiration in her community.
In addition to Omar and Wazir, Joe Neguse and Samantha Vang were elected to Congress in Colorado and Minnesota, respectively. Both are the children of former refugees. Neguse has become Colorado’s first black congressman, as well as the first Eritrean-American to have a seat in Congress. Vang, along with former refugees Adam Yang and Paul Yang, who both won Judge positions in Minnesota, are among nine Hmong Americans running for office in Minnesota this year.
These incredible people are a testament to the potential of refugees and of all people to rise up after experiencing the worst, and to change the world for the better. As Omar stated upon her election, “It is up to us to fulfill the promise of America.”