British-Kurdish MP banned from US under new Trump rules

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Nadhim Zahawi came to the UK as a Kurdish refugee in the 1970s. Photo: Zahawi speaks about Donald Trump's border clampdown on the Andrew Marr show (PA)

ARA News

Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP in the UK parliament on Saturday said he has been banned from entering the United States under new visa ban ordered by President Donald Trump.

Many Kurds are angered by the new rules, although Trump enjoyed the support of many Kurds during his election campaign.

“I’m a British citizen and so proud to have been welcomed to this country. Sad to hear I’ll be banned from the USA based on my country of birth,” he said.

A US immigration lawyer familiar with the MP’s case confirmed that Zahawi and his wife were banned from entering the United States since they were both born in Iraq, although they did not have dual nationality.

“I had confirmation that the order does apply to myself and my wife as we were both born in Iraq, despite the fact that we are not dual [citizens],” the Kurdish member of the UK parliament said.

“A sad day to feel like a second class citizen! Sad day for the USA,” he added.

In May 2010, Nadhim Zahawi became the first Kurd to be elected as Member of Parliament in the UK.

The politician is the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kurdistan, and has led several delegations to Kurdistan, including a visit by former London mayor Boris Johnson, who became the UK’s foreign secretary in July last year.

Many Kurds from Syria and Iraq have suffered from the new 90 days visa ban, although Kurds have never chosen to be Syrian or Iraqi, and desired a country or region of their own.

This weekend many mass protests were launched against Trump’s immigration order that bans citizens of at least seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States, while Trump said he would prioritize Christian refugees from the Middle East.

“Does Trump see any difference between ISIS members and the 8000+ injured Peshmerga soldiers in the war against ISIS?”, Saman Ako, a Kurd from Iraqi Kurdistan told ARA News.

Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, mainly Muslims, fought ISIS for over two years and sacrificed hundreds of lives to defeat ISIS.

“Trump’s decision to ban seven nationalities from entering the US is wrong on many levels, for example, it means there’s no difference between ISIS terrorists and the 8000+ injured Peshmerga soldiers in the war against ISIS seeking medical treatment,” Ako said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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