Sir Mo Farah has criticised Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown which he fears may ban him from returning home to his wife and daughters who live in the US.
The President signed an executive order on Friday which prevents any citizen of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days.
One of those countries is Somalia, the birthplace of Britain’s most successful athlete who won double Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
The long-distance runner, who is currently training in Ethiopia, lives with his family in Oregon.
Sir Mo wrote on Facebook: ‘On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
‘I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home.
Scroll down for video
Mo and his wife along with their four children, are based in Oregon and he shared this picture after their family holiday in Hawaii
Mo Farah tweeted about his training from Ethiopia a week ago. He has now criticised the ban that could prevent him from returning home
‘Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. 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.’
‘I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood.
‘My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.
Sir Mo still does not know if the ban applies to him because even though he was born in Somalia, he now only holds a British passport. Due to return home in a few weeks, he is seeking to clarify the situation with the US authorities.
The sudden ban has affected dozens of other British residents, many of whom have been trapped in transit, unable to fly to the US.
Airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are offering refunds to customers whose travel plans have been ruined.
World Bank economist Jaffar Al-Rikabi (left) is banned from the US and Iranian-born physics student Naz Jahanshahi (right) fears she’ll have to cancel her holiday there
Iranian-born physics student Naz Jahanshahi (pictured on a previous holiday in the US) was devastated to learn that she may have to cancel a trip to the US with her boyfriend
One woman affected is Hamaseh Tayari, a UK resident with an Iranian passport, who was stranded in Costa Rica after being denied boarding a flight home to Glasgow because it was due to stop-over in New York.
The distraught vet, who was on holiday with her boyfriend, said: ‘This has shocked me. We just discovered [what Trump did] at the airport when we went to check in.
‘I want people to know this isn’t just happening to refugees. I am a graduate and have a PhD. It has happened to a person who is working and pays tax.’
Ms Tayari has found a different route home and will shortly return to Glasgow.
She said: ‘We had been saving for months for this holiday and it will cost me a month’s salary just to get home’.
Iranian-born physics student Naz Jahanshahi, from Manchester, was devastated to learn that she may have to cancel a trip to the US with her boyfriend.
Hamaseh Tayari (left and right), a UK resident with an Iranian passport, is banned from the US
The vet’s university helped her get back to the UK using a different route
Nina Davidson who has lived in Britain for 33 years fears her family will have to cancel a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ in Florida because she was born in Iran
The 21-year-old wrote on Facebook: ‘Words cannot describe how angry, upset and shocked I am right now. After Trump’s recent ban on people from ‘Muslim’ countries it’s turned out that because I am classified as a British Citizen and travelled to Iran 3 years ago to see family, that I am denied entry into the US.
‘This means that the trip me and Matt were planning to see the total solar eclipse in America may have to be cancelled.’
She told MailOnline: ‘It’s just upsetting that in today’s world this level of discrimination is happening.
‘My situation is nothing compared to those that are being detained or stuck abroad unable to go home but the reality of it is that people are being judged for where they were born’.
Another Briton affected is World Bank economist Jaffar Al-Rikabi.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘I am an Economist at the World Bank (based in Jakarta), and will not apparently be able to join my fellow colleagues at our MFM training week in Washington DC in March.
Iraqi born MP Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC today that Mrs May must stand up to President Trump and not ‘look away’
‘Why? Because, I’m a dual British-Iraqi national and hence President Trump’s recent executive order bans me from flying to the US. Allegedly, I am a threat to US national security.’
MO FARAH’S CAREER
Born in war-torn Somalia on March 23, 1983, Farah spent most of his early life in Djibouti and came to London when he was eight to join his father, speaking barely any English.
He was originally based in London and ran for Newham and Essex Beagles athletics club, training at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham from 2001 to 2011.
Sir Mo is the European record holder for the 1500m, 10,000m, half marathon and two miles, the British record holder for the 5000m, the European indoor record holder for 5000 m, the British indoor record in the 3000m and the current indoor world record holder for the two miles.
The star, who received a CBE in 2013, dedicated his latest medal to son, Hussein, one, saying he now has one for each of his four children. He dedicated his golds from London to twin daughters Aisha and Amani and his 10,000m gold in Rio to stepdaughter Rhianna.
Club: Newham and Essex Beagles
Olympic Medals: 5,000m Gold (London 2012 and Rio 2016) 10,000m Gold (London 2012 and Rio 2016)
5,000m PB: 12:53.16s
10,000m PB: 26:46.57s
He savaged Trump’s policy because it assumes that ‘if you are linked to “a list of Muslim-majority” countries, you are presumed guilty, until proven otherwise.’
And Nina Davidson who has lived in Britain for 33 years fears her family will have to cancel a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ in Florida because she was born in Iran.
Mr Davidson, 46, said: ‘We’re all British citizens, we’ve all got British passports, it just so happens that my wife was born in Iran.
‘We didn’t sleep last night trying to keep up with the news. My only thought was, “how do I break it to my kids in the morning?” ‘
Iraqi-born Nadhim Zahawi, Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon, is also banned from the US.
He told the BBC: ‘I don’t think I have felt discriminated since little school when the kids were very cruel, as a young boy coming from Iraq of Kurdish origin.’
‘For the first time in my life last night I felt discriminated against, it’s demeaning, it’s sad.’
The ban means he can’t visit his sons who are studying at Princeton University in New Jersey.
He last year travelled there to visit one affected by a life-threatening illness but is now unable to make the trip.
He said: ‘One of my sons had a life-threatening illness last year, spent time in a hospital in Princeton, wonderful healthcare in Princeton University hospital but we couldn’t have travelled if we were going through the same thing now.
‘There are many other human stories – the community in the UK. There are hundreds of thousands of people who were born in Iraq who are now British citizens. I always thought we were equal.
‘I’m proud Stratford upon Avon, 98 per cent white, voted in Nadhim Zahawi, the son of immigrants, an immigrant to this country as a member of parliament. I hope he’ll reconsider this.’
Mr Zahawi urged action from Theresa May, saying ‘I don’t think we should look away when President Trump makes a mistake.’
The ban may also affect British basketball star Luol Deng, who was born in Sudan and holds both passports.
The ban may also affect British basketball star Luol Deng, who was born in Sudan and holds both passports
But luckily the Los Angeles Lakers forward is not stranded out of the US as he managed to fly back after playing the Toronto Raptors in Canada before the ban kicked in.
Latest figures show that more than 250,000 people who were born in Iraq, Iran and Somalia have dual British nationality.
No figures are available for those born in Syria, Libya, Sudan or Yemen.
The order has brought scathing criticism from a host of British MPs, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who called it ‘divisive and wrong.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked Theresa May for not doing enough to criticise Trump and said he wanted the US leader banned from addressing Parliament when he visits Britain in the summer.
He tweeted a picture of May and Trump, writing ‘hand in hand with the man who banned Mo Farah & Tory MP. Yet she remains silent.’
After an appearance on ITV’s Peston on Sunday he said: ‘Donald Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees’ and women’s rights.
‘Theresa May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit and condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms. That’s what Britain expects and deserves.’
No10 insists the state visit will go ahead as planned while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he would boycott the event.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured on ITV’s Peston On Sunday) attacked Theresa May for not doing enough to criticise Trump
Corbyn tweeted a picture of May and Trump, writing ‘hand in hand with the man who banned Mo Farah & Tory MP. Yet she remains silent.’
Even a Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, agreed with Jeremy Corbyn when she said Mr Trump should be barred from making the usual address to Parliament.
Theresa May was forced to make a dramatic U-turn to condemn Mr Trump’s ban after she refused three times to criticise the move on Saturday.
Downing Street issued a statement saying Mrs May does ‘not agree’ with the ban.
She has ordered foreign secretary Boris Johnson and home secretary Amber Rudd to telephone their American counterparts to make representations about the US travel ban.
Mr Johnson will ask two of Trump’s most senior advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner for British citizens to be exempt from the ban in the same way that Canadian passport holders have.
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued a statement condemning Mr Trump’s policy.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘This ban on Muslims is not only an inconvenience, it is downright dangerous to our values of equality and non-discrimination. And yet, our Prime Minister has found it hard to express these values when representing us on the world stage.’
Iraqi born MP Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on Avon, revealed the ban applies to him
In a sign of the anger against and Tory MP Heidi Allen tweeted directly at Mrs May saying: ‘Strong leadership means not being afraid to tell someone powerful when they’re wrong. It’s an ethos this country is proud of’
‘We are told that British values include the rule of law and ‘mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.’
And the Iraqi government is said to be considering a reciprocal ban on US citizens entering Iraq.
Mr Trump’s 90-day visa moratorium extends beyond just citizens of Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
It also applies to people who originally hail from those countries but are traveling on a passport issued by any other nation.
This means Iraqis seeking to enter the U.S. on a British passport, for instance, will be barred. British citizens don’t normally require a visa to enter the U.S.
Sir Mo is originally from Somalia, one of the countries on Donald Trump’s list. People originally from the banned countries cannot enter even if they are travelling on another passport
Donald Trump defended his tough new immigration bans, and denied that his executive order was a Muslim ban
He later tried to justify his ban by saying that Christians have been killed in the Middle East
A State Department statement read: ‘Travelers who have nationality or dual nationality of one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa,’ the statement said.
‘Those nationals or dual nationals holding valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas will not be permitted to enter the United States during this period. Visa interviews will generally not be scheduled for nationals of these countries during this period.’
AIRLINES TO REFUND THE BANNED
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are offering refunds to customers affected by Donald Trump’s controversial Muslim ban.
Customers who have flights booked with either airline will be able to re-book or get a refund on their tickets if they are no longer able to fly to the US.
Dubai-based Emirates said a small number of its passengers were affected Saturday, and it was helping them rebook. Delta Air Lines said it was also offering refunds.
Several airlines, including Qatar Airways, posted travel alerts on their websites warning customers about the changes.
British Airways said: ‘We always meet our obligations under international immigration agreements.
‘We are offering affected customers a refund for their travel to the US, or the opportunity to rebook their flight.’
Donald Trump defended his tough new immigration policy, and denied that his executive order was a Muslim ban.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!’
Mr Trump was backed by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage who said he supports the travel ban and calls for the UK to do something similar.
He said: ‘In this country I would like to see extreme vetting … This is what Trump’s supporters want him to do.’
Meanwhile, an Iranian-born actress who stars in Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman vowed to boycott the Oscars over Trump’s immigration bans.
Taraneh Alidoosti, the 33-year-old known as the Natalie Portman of Iran, took to Twitter with a message for fans on Thursday.
‘Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest,’ she tweeted.
Iraqi-born Farhadi won an Oscar in 2012 for his film A Separation but fears he may not be able to attend this year’s ceremony where he could win again.
Mo Farah with his wife Tania, their twin daughters and his older daughter in 2014. They now live in Oregon but it is thought he is in Ethiopia at the moment
Award-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is nominated for an Oscar for his film The Salesman, won’t be able to attend after Donald Trump introduced tough new immigration bans
On Saturday seven refugees bound for the U.S. were stopped from boarding a plane in Cairo and 12 migrants were detained in New York overnight because they arrived just after the executive order was signed.
Hameed Khalid Darweesh, one of the Iraqi refugees who was detained for 14 hours at New York, was released on Saturday afternoon.
WHAT WILL TRUMP’S ANTI-IMMIGRATION ORDER DO?
Ban refugee entries from all countries for 120 days. Refugees can be accepted on case-by-case basis, including if they are a religious minority facing religious persecution
Block refugee entries from Syria indefinitely.
Cap refugee intake at 50,000 per year.
Ban visa and immigration entries for 90 days from Muslim-majority countries on banned list, including Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.
Suspend visa issuance to countries of particular concern.
The 53-year-old had arrived in America on a flight from Istanbul on Friday night, just hours after Trump implemented the immigration ban.
He had worked for the US government in Iraq for 10 years as a translator, engineer and contractor and had a valid special immigration visa to relocate to America.
The dual-citizenship ban doesn’t apply to US citizens who are also citizens of the seven nations singled out by Mr. Trump.
The State Department statement also said such restrictions don’t apply to people from those countries traveling on diplomatic visas.
The official said that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Erbil have stopped accepting visa applications from Iraqi nationals until further notice, except for certain diplomatic exceptions.
The urgent steps come as State Department officials try to sort out how to implement Mr Trump’s broadly-worded executive order. Officials said they received little information about the ban before it took effect from the Trump team.
One described how a draft of the order was brought in unofficially to the State Department earlier this week to review before it took effect.
At a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Theresa May repeatedly refused to criticise President Trump’s executive order.
She said in Ankara: ‘The United States is responsible for the United States’ policy on refugees. The United Kingdom is responsible for the United Kingdom’s policy on refugees.
‘And our policy on refugees is to have a number of voluntary schemes to bring Syrian refugees into the country, particularly those who are most vulnerable but also to provide significant financial contributions to support refugees in countries surrounding Syria.’
On Saturday evening, a Downing St spokesman said Theresa May does ‘not agree’ with Donald Trump’s refugee ban and will make representations if it hits Britons.
Mrs May met with Donald Trump at the White House and the pair were snapped holding hands as they walked the colonnade
She then went to Turkey where she batted away questions about Trump’s order, even though her Turkish counterpart criticised him
TRUMP HOTELS TWEET MOCKED
A harmless tweet from Trump hotels in 2011 received a few replies when it was originally posted.
But now hundreds are responding with witty and angry replies in light of the President’s travel ban.
The tweet read: ‘Tell us your favorite travel memory – was it a picture, a souvenir, a sunset? We’d love to hear it!’
Here are some of the replies:
John Epler: ‘My grandmother’s travel to England, after being freed from Auschwitz’
Susan Kandel: ‘Mine is my mother’s story of fleeing Nazi Germany by train for Brussels where she lived in hiding until she could escape to US as a refugee’
A user with the handle JHD: ‘Being abroad when Obama was elected and seeing how happy everybody was for both America and the world’
Kaj-Erik Eriksen: ‘Mine is staying at the Four Seasons when I travel! impeccable service. Trump hotels are the Motel 6’s of fancy hotels. Sad!’
However just yards away from her, Prime Minister Yildirim was putting the boot in, saying building walls would not help the refugee crisis.
He said: ‘We cannot solve this refugee problem by putting up walls.
‘We opened our doors, and if they come again, we would take them again.
‘Regional problems cannot be solved by sweeping them under the carpet.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: ‘British citizens banned from the US and our government has nothing to say? Disgrace.’
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: ‘Not only is this shocking even by her standards, it cannot be allowed to stand. The President’s actions have horrified the world, and this is a moment when she has to show what side she is on.
‘At the press conference she contrived to make the Turkish government look liberal.
‘They said it was wrong to build walls. Rather than fighting to build a world that is open, tolerant and united, Theresa May is dividing the world in a very dangerous way.’
Trump’s order declares that U.S. policy is ‘to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.’
It also gives Homeland Security 60 days to begin providing the president with the names of other countries to add to the list.
The nation will limit the total refugee resettlement numbers to 50,000 per year, according to the order.