Desantis calls for Ilhan Omar’s deportation after saying she is ‘Somali First’ in speech

Gun Rights

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called for Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar to be deported from the United States on Tuesday after footage showed Omar delivering a Somali-language speech to a gathering of community leaders at a Minneapolis hotel Saturday night where she called herself “Somali First” and vowed to protect Somalian interest as long as she is a member in the US Congress. 

The footage shows Omar giving a speech in her native Somali where she rallied against plans by the Ethiopian government to enter a sea access deal with the Republic of Somaliland, a breakaway province of Somalia. 

“The US is a country where one of your daughters is in Congress to represent your interest,” Omar declared in her speech. “For as long as I am in the US Congress, Somalia will never be in danger, its waters will not be stolen by Ethiopia or others … Sleep in comfort, knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the US system.”

“We, as Somalians, love each other… people who know they are Somalians first and Muslim second who protect one another and come to each other’s aid and to the aid of other Muslims too,” Omar said in her remarks.

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 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the 2023 NHGOP Amos Tuck Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, April 14, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the 2023 NHGOP Amos Tuck Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, April 14, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)

The Florida governor and former 2024 Republican presidential candidate was the most prominent of several Republican politicians to condemn Omar’s remarks. “Expel from Congress, denaturalize and deport!” Desantis replied to a post of the original video on social media platform X. 

Omar’s accusations of pro-Israel dual loyalty

A member of the anti-Israel group of Democratic politicians colloquially known as “The Squad,” Omar has accused pro-Israel politicians of dual loyalty in the past.

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“The political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?” she said in 2019 amid a spat of anti-Israel comments Omar made throughout the year – several of which were condemned for antisemitic overtures and eventually led Omar to issue an apology.

While Omar had much to say about pro-Israel congress members and their alleged loyalties, she had similarly strong opinions about the geopolitical situation in her native Africa, such as rallying against Somaliland’s increasing cooperation with neighboring Ethiopia and saying that America will “liberate the occupied territories” of Djibouti, Somaliland, and Kenya’s North Eastern Province, the latter of which has a large population of ethnic Somalis and Somali refugees. 

“The US government will only do what Somalians in the US tell them to do. They must do what we want and nothing else. They must follow our orders and that is how we will safeguard the interest of Somalia,” Omar concluded in her speech. 

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