Rep. Ellison Statement on Misleading Fox 9 Report on Childcare Fraud
WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) issued the following statement responding to a Fox 9 report which erroneously links lawful remittance transfers to fraud in some childcare centers:
“Fox 9’s recent story is poorly reported, presenting a single out of state source to attempt to link domestic fraud cases with the lawful transfer by Somali-Americans of their hard-earned funds to family and friends abroad. It plays to the worst stereotypes about an important Minnesotan community.
“I am proud to represent one of the largest Somali diaspora communities in the world. My constituents work tirelessly to support their communities both here and in Somalia. For years, I have worked with hawalas, Somali community leaders, the financial services industry, federal regulators, and partners in Congress and the White House to improve the remittances process. Although remittances are an essential lifeline for family members abroad who are experiencing war and famine and for the Somali economy, a recent Government Accountability Office report on remittances confirmed that Somalis wishing to send remittances abroad are vastly underserved with few options available. As a result of federal inaction and decisions by banks to discontinue wiring money, hawalas are reluctantly opting for the only remaining option to get essential resources to family in Somalia.
“Financial stability for the Somali people, both here and in Somalia, is one of our strongest protections against the terroristic threat posed by Al-Shabaab. We should be making it easier for our constituents to support their families – not impugning the community for it. Fox 9 should issue a thorough correction and apology for its irresponsible reporting.”
In March 2018, the Government Accountability Office released a report requested by Rep. Ellison reviewing the effects of Bank Secrecy Act regulations on remittances to nations like Somalia. Rep. Ellison’s statement on that report and a link to the full report are available here.