March 12, 2015
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on remittances to Somalia:
“It’s now been over a month since Merchants Bank closed their accounts with Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) leaving Somali Americans in the 9th District and across the country without any avenues to send money to their families back home. This is an issue of life or death for families in Somalia as they rely on remittances from their families in the United States. Without a resolution, Somali Americans will be forced to find and utilize unregulated and insecure sources to get money back to their families. We must immediately address this problem.
“A few weeks ago, multiple federal agencies that can address this issue came together to engage in a discussion on how to fix this problem. I was disappointed that no specific solutions were offered and that we continue to have no resolution. We need to take a creative approach to resolve this problem in the short-term and continue to explore solutions to resolve this issue once and for all. This meeting simply made clear that we have a long way to go.
“There will be a meeting between Members of Congress and the National Security Council two weeks from now, and I sincerely hope that we can make progress. I will continue to do all I can to advocate for a solution and advance policies that ensure Somali Americans can send money back to their families.”