Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar reacts after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nov. 6, 2018.
Omar said President Trump's "politics of fear" motivated her to get in the race.
Omar, who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 14 after fleeing civil war in Somalia and lived in Kenya's Dadaab camp, campaigned on a platform which called for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.
Although Muslim men have been elected to Congress before, Ilhan and Rashida are the first Muslim women to represent Americans in the US House of Representatives.
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She beat Republican Jennifer Zielinski to take Keith Ellison's seat, which he vacated to run for Minnesota attorney general.
She was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit and is the eldest of 14 children. This seat has been held by Democrats since 1963.
Ocasio-Cortez easily won election in her district which spans parts of the NY boroughs of Queens and the Bronx.
What is already the most diverse Congress ever could become even more so after Tuesday's elections and will include several trailblazers.
She campaigned on a platform calling for free tuition and promising to fight to expand Medicare coverage to all Americans.
She also has been mindful of the historic nature of her candidacy. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television.
"I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name", she said amid cheers.