Vet Unvetted

This story is amusing, in a grim sort of way:

Where does an alleged war criminal accused of torture and directing mass executions look for work while living in the United States? For Yusuf Abdi Ali, there was an easy answer: Uber and Lyft.

Within a couple of days of applying to be a ride-share driver, Ali said he was approved to shuttle passengers from place to place. He’s been doing it for more than 18 months, according to his Uber profile.

Ali’s work as a ride-share driver raises new questions about the thoroughness of Uber and Lyft’s background check process and the ease with which some people with controversial pasts can get approved to drive.

Ali has not been convicted of a crime, but a basic internet search of his name turns up numerous documents and news accounts alleging he committed various atrocities while serving as a military commander during Somalia’s civil war in the 1980s.

I think David Burge puts it best:


Oh, and it gets worse:

Ali entered the United States on a visa through his Somali wife who became a US citizen. In 2006, his wife was found guilty of naturalization fraud for claiming she was a refugee from the very Somali clan that Ali is accused of torturing.

I’m half-surprised he’s only an Uber driver and not in Congress.

In 2016, CNN reported that Ali had been working as a security guard at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.

Yes, clearly it’s Uber who’s at fault here.

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24 thoughts on “Vet Unvetted

  1. Until he has been convicted he should be treated like everyone else. But of course, we know that due process, innocent until proven guilty and so on goes out the window when the MSM can hold the trial instead. See: Roman Polanski.

  2. Until he has been convicted he should be treated like everyone else.

    That’s not generally how immigration controls work, for good reason.

  3. I don’t think that Uber or Lyft are actually in control of immigration. Once this guy is in the country, then any background checks, etc, should follow standard procedure. I have no idea whether he is a good guy or not, but if he has no convictions, then he is, by definition, not guilty.

  4. I have no idea whether he is a good guy or not, but if he has no convictions, then he is, by definition, not guilty.

    Like the ISIS head-loppers.

  5. And there is nothing you can do. When you want to solve the problem, the first thing to do is determinate the root cause of the problem. How the hell this diversity madness started and who were the original authors ?

    But then your civilian religion kicks in and here you go again.

  6. Well yeah, if he’s an illegal immigrant and deportable he should be deported. Also due process.

    I know it probably is, but it shouldn’t be his employer’s job to check his immigration status, or indeed anything other than whether he is satisfactorily performing his contract of employment. Not employing known rapists as taxi drivers seems reasonable due dilligence but currently unproven accusations as grounds? Not convinced.

  7. I know it probably is, but it shouldn’t be his employer’s job to check his immigration status, or indeed anything other than whether he is satisfactorily performing his contract of employment.

    Yes, that’s the entire point of the post. The short break must have made me lose my touch.

  8. Apart from which, one assumes there might be more than one Yusuf Abdi Ali in the world, so googling that name and coming up with the details of a war criminal is hardly proof that a bloke in the US is the same one.

    Of course if it was the other way around, and Uber had googled an employee and come up with someone of the same name being a mass rapist in S America, refused him a driving job as a result, and it turned out they weren’t the same chap, then they would be in the dock for taking hearsay as evidence.

    Just another example of the Left’s desire to attack certain targets, and any case to hand will do, regardless of principles.

  9. Bloke in Germany (May 16, 2019 at 10:18am) said: “I know it probably is, but it shouldn’t be his employer’s job to check his immigration status, or indeed anything other than whether he is satisfactorily performing his contract of employment.”

    This is supported by Tim Newman (May 16, 2019 at 10:19 am): “Yes, that’s the entire point of the post. The short break must have made me lose my touch.”

    I beg to differ, with respect to the UK. There is a policy here that makes sense to me. The USA has to make up its own mind, but I suspect the same sort of policy makes sense for them too.

    In the UK, all employers must check that prospective employees have a right to work here. This is one very practical way of making it more difficult for illegal immigrants or overstayers to fund their illegal activity (ie staying). It is also a very practical way of discouraging those seeking asylum (or other similar status) from giving up on their application (which, if and when successful, would give them right to work) and becoming illegal immigrants (funding themselves here by working illegally).

    Without such rules, the UK (and any other country running a welfare system and/or a wealth transfer system) is prone to invasion by those seeking to have (without our agreement) a better life at the expense of the taxpayer – welfare, healthcare, education of children.

    Whilst this might, to some, seem hard on illegal immigrants, it is actually the case that those who argue for them want to spend other people’s money (the taxpayers’ money) on other people (the illegal immigrants, who are mostly undeserving in law, and quite often not as poor as might be supposed).

    Moving on to another argument, BiG’s comment emphasises: “whether he is satisfactorily performing his contract of employment”. Now, it strikes me as likely that someone with an alleged background of war crimes is, on the balance of probabilities, unsuitable to be providing taxi services (which includes unsupervised services to the weak and vulnerable). From longish ago (around a decade), I recollect UK employment requirements for those applying to work with the weak and vulnerable do include provision of searches for outstanding criminal charges – and well they should!

    Given outstanding charges, again on the balance of probabilities on what is best, those accused should seek employment other than working with the weak and vulnerable. This at least until the court case on the outstanding charges has been completed.

    Best regards

  10. Nigel: These checks don’t really solve anything. Many illegal immigrants have a “family member” running a contracting company. The contracting company supplies them as temporary staff, for an hourly rate. Don’t assume that the staff receive minimum wage, either.

    The companies that use the contracting company to supply these people are not in a position to check the individuals even if they wanted to. The staff supplied may not even be the same day-to-day, depending on what they are doing. There is effectively a degree of separation making the UK legislation irrelevant.

    Now, if anybody ever checks the contracting company, the owner mysteriously disappears back to his home country and the company magically ceases to exist. Nothing to see, nobody to prosecute. It may be that the company having the work done has some explaining to do, but having a contract in place to say that any staff supplied must be pre-checked seems to solve that.

    You might remember that a few years ago, illegal immigrants were found working in Westminster as cleaners. I can’t remember anyone being held accountable for it, though.

    The UK laws about checking staff might be well-intentioned, but it’s yet another example of laws that only disrupt the lives of the law-abiding while dong nothing to solve the problem that is being targeted. See also the money laundering laws….

  11. Peter Singer, the moral philosopher, has an interesting take on immigration.
    1. Rich countries should have generous policies on immigration
    2. Any illegal immigrant should be sent to the refugee camp associated with the country they say they are from.

    The second means you can’t cut round the application process by illegally entering a country, and thus destroys people smuggling as an industry. If you are from a poorish country you are unlikely to claim that you are from a war torn country as it means you get sent to a refugee camp which may well be worse than where you came from.

    Counting to 3 for the cries of “nazi” if anyone tried to implement this. [Australia got close]

  12. “””…. See also the money laundering laws…….”””

    And most important, the immigration laws…:D:D.

  13. Mick wrote (May 16, 2019 at 12:14pm): “These checks don’t really solve anything. Many illegal immigrants have a “family member” running a contracting company. … supplies them as temporary staff … owner mysteriously disappears …”

    Do these issues apply to the case introduced in Tim’s main posting here? Would they ever with Uber, Lyft or the like?

    If not, I see Mick’s argument as a bit of a straw man.

    Best regards

  14. “ay not even be the same day-to-day, depending on what they are doing. There is effectively a degree of separation making the UK legislation irrelevant.”

    Well the solution is easy. All companies with more than 50 staff must have a policy against the employment of suspected war criminals, to go alongside the anti-slavery policy. The policy must be registered with, reviewed and approved by the State Agency for the Prevention of Employment of Alleged War Criminals, who can conduct spot-audits at the employer’s expense.

    This will of course be an entirely separate process employing different bureaucrats to those auditing the Anti-Slavery-in-all-your-Supply-Chain policy, the Conflict Minerals Policy, and the Exploitation of Child Labour Policy.

  15. My take on this, for the sake of clarity, is that Somalis have almost no business being in the US and Somalis who are suspected of war crimes no business whatsoever. Any policy formed on this basis would then render employer background checks on Somalis utterly moot.

  16. The employer is required to verify the immigration status of the job applicant.
    … not to make a judgement on whether the government should have issued visa or granted citizenship.

    If the govt grants it, then that is where the employer stops searching.

    Beyond that, the employer can request the job applicant produce a police check. If that passes muster, then the applicant is good to go.

    I’m with Iowahawk. Uber & Lyft have no case to answer on this one.
    The federal govt sure does though.

  17. Um……hello! Polanski was found guilty and then left the country before sentencing.

  18. Um……hello! Polanski was found guilty and then left the country before sentencing.

    Yeah, but Celebrities & journalists have declared him “no case to answer” by popular acclaim.
    Which was Bloke in Germany’s point.

  19. Clan warfare is endemic in Somalia and it’s serious business, they don’t play around. So when you bring in a large number of Somalis, of course you’re going to end up with some guys like this.

    It’s like the current idea that because gang violence is such a big problem in Central America, we need to let in any Central Americans who want to come. You’re going to end up importing a lot of the people who were causing Central America to be such a shithole in the first place.

  20. Asylum Applicant: I am seeking refuge in your country, Senor.
    Immigration Official: For what reason?
    Asylum Applicant: A vicious criminal gang is trying to kill me!
    Immigration Official: Why are they trying to kill you?
    Asylum Applicant: Well, some guys in my criminal gang killed a bunch of guys in their criminal gang.
    Immigration Official: ….

  21. US employers are required to verify that a potential employee is legally eligible to work in the country but the steps in this procedure are minimal. False documents are quite common here and the nation E-Verify system is not mandatory. Finally, punishments for even chronic employment of illegal aliens is a slap on the wrist in most cases.

    What I have read here makes me think the situation in the UK is quite similar. Is this the case in most other developed countries?

  22. So the latest score for the Media is that while it would be evil and inhuman to deport him or prevent him arriving in the US in the first place, it is perfectly OK to get him fired from any job he manages to get and harass him into permanent unemployment.

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