"My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation."
Mo Farah in 2015, after winning the 41st Prefontaine Classic. Photo by Scott Olmos—USA TODAY Sports
On Friday, President Trump scrawled out a signature that inked a thick border around the United States, banning travel into the country by citizens and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Among the millions of people edged out by the thinly-veiled discriminatory law is Somalian-born British knight and olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah, who took to social media to rebuke Trump's "policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice."
While a federal judge has already blocked Trump's order, the ruling appears to have only been a measure of protection for travelers who have already arrived in the US, and does not force the administration to permit admission of people who have yet to travel to the US. This morning, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said that the ban would be partially rolled back, permitting green card holders to enter the country, but that border agents would have "discretionary authority" to detain and question 'suspicious' travelers.
Farah, a Portland, Oregon resident of six years, is currently training in Ethiopia for August's World Championships in London. Farah was born in Somalia, and—despite not carrying a Somalian passport nor being a Somalian citizen—would not be able to reenter the country under the ban's current parameters to return home to his wife and kids. Farah's camp is trying to clarify the situation with US authorities.
Farah took to Facebook to admonish Trump, drawing a sharp contrast between how he is treated in Britain as opposed to the US:
"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."
He also added, "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."
Farah was brought into a refugee-friendly UK from Somalia when he was eight, and drew the sharp contrast between Britain's welcoming migration stance versus the US's strict hardline. "My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation."