MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - From questions surrounding her past marriage, to controversial remarks that some deemed anti-Semitic, it has sometimes been a turbulent ride for Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Documents obtained by the Star Tribune resurfaced some of the very same questions FOX 9 asked Ilhan Omar years ago and her explanations haven’t always provided much clarity into her marriage history.
While the exact documents the publication obtained have yet to be verified by FOX 9, attorneys say if fraud is uncovered in this case, removal from office and even denaturalization are possibilities.
Hamline University’s David Schultz says he knows of at least one organization that has started polling Omar’s district, and there are indications a search for a replacement in the fifth congressional district is underway. He said the numbers indicate Minneapolis City Councilor Andrea Jenkins is high on that list.
This weekend, the Star Tribune reported new investigative documents released by a state agency that have, “given fresh life to lingering questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar and whether she once married a man – possibly her own brother – to skirt immigration laws.”
“I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I haven’t come across a case like that, but that’s not to say it certainly couldn’t happen,” said Steven Thal, an immigration attorney.
Thal says brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens have a visa wait time of 13 years or longer. That period is usually much shorter for a husband and wife.
“The immigration authorities would view it as fraud if it were seen as violating immigration laws, making misrepresentations, obtaining a benefit when you weren’t qualified for that benefit,” Thal said.
“Traditionally, the idea of saying that you’re married to two different people at the same time, I think it’s going to strike people as pretty odd politically,” said Schultz.
As bigamy and anti-Semitism allegations hover over Omar, along with findings of campaign finance violations, many are left to wonder what might be next for the fifth congressional district.
“Her support within her own district is more fragile than it was,” said Schultz.
“She’s potentially becoming a liability for the Democrats, especially heading into the 2020 election,” he added.
Rep. Omar declined FOX 9’s request for an on-camera interview Sunday, but in a statement, her press representative said, “Since before she was elected to office, Ilhan has been the subject of conspiracy theories and false accusations about her personal life. Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever do about the details of her personal life, even when it is personally painful.”