Bowling Green Refugee Voices Concern About Travel Ban

Jan 30, 2017

Iraqi Refugee Hayder Hadi
Credit Becca Schimmel

A Bowling Green refugee says his life has been turned upside down by President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Trump’s executive order bars travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Hayder Hadi, an Iraqi refugee living in Warren County, is worried about his wife, who lives in Iraq and has been hoping to come to the U.S. to live with her husband and two sons. Hadi says he doesn’t know what to tell his children about their mother's future.

“My sons ask me what we doing with the issue of mom? I tell them, 'I don’t know.' What we will doing in the future? Dad? What you will be doing? I don’t know, my sons,” Hadi said.

Hadi worked for the U.S. governmental nonprofit focused on bringing relief and development to vulnerable communities. He said he was threatened by terrorist organizations because of his work. According to Hadi, it was that high risk work that helped him gain refugee status and a new life in the U.S.

 

Hadi called his wife after he heard about the travel ban and said he consoled her through her tears. He worries that his sons and other refugees might not be safe from discrimination in the future, and that the executive order will make people like him a target.

“Some people they don’t like the refugee. Then this decision give them the permission or the excuse maybe to doing these bad things to these people,” Hadi said.

 

Hadi said this isn’t the America he knows where all Americans are free and have equal opportunity despite their race, religion or socioeconomic status. What worries him most about the ban is how others might behave and treat Muslims. He thinks it’s good that the U.S. government wants to keep people safe, but Hadi said Muslims are America’s people too.

“Not all Muslim people are bad, almost all of the people are very good,” Hadi said.