WINNIPEG — A former refugee living in Winnipeg said he is no longer able to visit his sister and other family in the U.S.A. after the announcement of Donald Trump’s travel ban.
In his first week in office, Trump issued a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States. Omar Rahimi grew up in a refugee camp in Iraq for 18 years. He moved to Canada in 2001, and now, living in Winnipeg, he doesn’t think he’ll be able to travel south of the border.
“We knew this was coming, but I didn’t think it would be this bad,” Rahimi said.
As soon as the news broke about the new travel ban, Rahimi said it brought back memories of a time when he lived in a refugee camp and was turned away.
“It’s the same kind of issues that we were rejected for, for 25 years.”
Canadian’s with dual citizenship won’t be affected under the new ban, but Rahimi said because him and his sister were born in a refugee camp, they won’t be able to travel.
“My sister in America, she cannot come to Canada, she cannot get back in. Just because we were born in a camp. It’s really hard for us.”
Manitoba’s premier and Winnipeg’s mayor weighed in on Twitter about their thoughts on the new ban.
Refugees = humans. Winnipeg will continue to provide sanctuary to those seeking refuge from conflict around the world. 🇨🇦 #RefugeesWelcome— Mayor Brian Bowman (@Mayor_Bowman) January 28, 2017
Rahimi works closely with refugees in Winnipeg, coaching soccer teams and teaching newcomers new skills. He said the entire refugee community in he city has been shaken by the news.
“They feel like they’re being picked on. They feel like refugees are being picked on.”
Rahimi said he believes things will get better again, and hopes the ban will be lifted soon.