Immigration and Customs Enforcement said a flight deporting illegal immigrants from the United States to Somalia, which has been opposed by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, included passengers with violent criminal histories, such as rape, murder, and crimes against children.
“This week, ICE removed 39 Somalia nationals, 36 of whom have criminal histories,” acting ICE director Tony Pham wrote in a letter addressed to Omar. “These crimes include murder, rape, domestic violence, assault, sexual assault, crimes against children, drug trafficking, and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”
Today’s flight to Somalia included the removal of dangerous criminals. Read more pic.twitter.com/E2bWzcj708
— ICE (@ICEgov) September 19, 2020
The letter provided background on the specific crimes that Pham said should give Omar “reason to applaud the good work ICE has done to protect the American people, including the people of the State of Minnesota.”
Omar, who became the first Somali-born member of Congress in 2018, wrote a letter to ICE earlier this month to call for a halt to the deportations.
“ICE is set to deport dozens of individuals from my district to Somalia, risking the spread of COVID,” Omar tweeted. “ICE’s actions will not only put these individuals at risk, but could have far-reaching consequences for Somalia. This week, I sent a letter to ICE to get answers.”
ICE is set to deport dozens of individuals from my district to Somalia, risking the spread of COVID.
ICE’s actions will not only put these individuals at risk, but could have far-reaching consequences for Somalia.
This week, I sent a letter to ICE to get answers.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) September 12, 2020
Omar has been a consistent critic of ICE, often calling for the agency to be abolished.