During his cabinet reshuffle on Jan. 10, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tapped a former Somali refugee to lead the country’s immigration, refugees, and citizenship ministry. Ahmed Hussen, a lawyer, and community activist came to Canada in 1993 at the age of 16 after fleeing his hometown, the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Hussen, a rookie MP for York-South Weston district in Ontario, was also the first Somali-Canadian to be voted to parliament in 2015. Since his election, Hussen has become a household name among Somalis in the diaspora. His election has been touted as a symbol of the Canadian Liberal Party’s openness to immigrant communities.
“The story of Canada is the story of immigration, and I’m especially proud and humbled that the prime minister would task me with this important role,” Hussen said, following the announcement of his appointment. Canada accepted a total of 300,000 immigrants in 2016, the same quota set for this year.
Please welcome Ahmed Hussen to Cabinet as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. pic.twitter.com/AuGohAfZF3
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 10, 2017
— Ahmed Hussen (@AhmedDHussen) January 11, 2017