This morning, the Council's Committee of the Whole unanimously supported a resolution urging "all concerned parties to find an amicable solution that facilitates the normal flow of remittances without compromising the safety and security of the United States." I urge you to read it in full.
As you can read in the Request for Council Action, "until recently, only one bank in Minnesota offered remittance services allowing the Somali-American community in Minnesota to send money to family and friends in Somalia. Based on concerns that this service could in the future be considered in violation of federal counter terrorism regulations, the bank stopped providing the service on December 30, 2011." This decision has had a major impact on the lives of Somali residents of Minneapolis, and the relatives in the horn of Africa who depend on the small amounts of money they send in remittances. The horn of Africa is currently suffering the worst famine on earth since 1984, so this is an incredibly important issue - the halting of funds from hawalas may be costing people their lives.
I strongly supported this resolution and thank Ahmed Muhumud in Neighborhood and Community Relations for working to draft it and continuing to push for a solution.