British-Somali Olympian slams Trump's executive order for its 'ignorance and prejudice'

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As President Donald Trump's ban against immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries took effect over the weekend, hundreds of people were detained at American airports around the country.


On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security said that American permanent residents–green card holders–would also be denied entry into the United States if they were citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. On Sunday evening, the department reversed that position.

For British Olympian Sir Mohamed "Mo" Farah, the situation has created uncertainty about whether he will be able to return home to his family in Oregon, where they've lived for the past six years. Farah immigrated to Britain from Somalia at the age of eight and is currently in Ethiopia for training.

"It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home—to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice," he wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday:

At some point after Farah's post Sunday, British government officials convened with their U.S. counterparts. After the meeting, Politico Europe reported, British officials said British citizens who hold dual citizenship with one of the seven countries included in Trump's executive order will only be turned away from the U.S. if they're traveling to the U.S. from the countries included in the ban. No justification for that distinction appeared to be given.

"We understand from the statement released this evening by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the executive order will not apply to Mo, and we are grateful to the FCO for urgently clarifying the situation," a spokesperson for Farah told the BBC on Sunday night.


Farah "still fundamentally disagrees with this incredibly divisive and discriminatory policy," according to the statement, the BBC writes.

But in line with the confusion worldwide over how the policy is being implemented, it's still unclear whether British dual citizens will actually be allowed into the U.S.


A notice issued by the U.S. Embassy in London on Monday morning appears to contradict the British foreign office's assurances. The Independent reports that the notice from the embassy informs visa applicants from the seven Muslim-majority countries that their visas will not be processed.

Trump is scheduled to visit Britain later this year. A petition calling for the British government to rescind his invitation has gathered more than one million signatures so far and will be considered by parliament.