Mo Farah Can Rejoin Family In US Amid Immigration Ban
Jan 30, 2017 04:50 PM EST
Sir Mo Farah is cleared to return to the United States after concluding his current training program but his relief is tinged with regret and criticism at the latest White House executive order.
"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," the four-time Olympic gold medalist's opening words in his latest Facebook posting came after the President signed an executive order on immigration on Friday, Jan. 27.
Farah, a Somali-born British national, has been living in the U.S. with his family for the past six years. He is currently training in Ethiopia, to prepare for the World Championships scheduled for August. ESPN had reported that following the new executive order, the athlete had been worried if he was unable to return to his family who is residing in Oregon.
Trump's executive order puts to a stop the U.S. refugee program and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for people from seven countries, namely Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
However, the BBC reported that following conversations between British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson with the U.S. government on Sunday, Farah would be able to return as the ban only affects British nationals with dual citizenships traveling to the U.S. from one of the seven banned countries.
While relieved, Farah has criticized President Trump's policy, saying in the facebook posting that it "comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice". The long distance runner had moved from Somalia to Great Britain when he was eight and went on to win gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in two consecutive Olympics as a British citizen.
The ESPN report cited similar concerns raised other athletes from affected countries scheduled to compete in the U.S. in the coming months and how the travel ban could also have an impact on American athletes. Iran, in retaliation to the ban, had already released a statement on Sunday saying that it will not allow Americans into the country.