A 15-year-old girl was heartbroken to learn that because of PresidentDonald Trump’s immigration ban, she was unable to see her father, who was scheduled to arrive in the U.S. from Iran for a reunion after 11 years apart.
“He was supposed to be here this summer. He had all his paperwork and the other day he got an email saying he couldn't come because he is Muslim,” Malikeh Sharifi told 9News.
“In eighth grade, it was my graduation. I got six scholarships for having a 4.7 GPA. But my dad wasn't there. I haven't seen my dad in 11 years, and when I was about to see him -- he can't come.”
The girl said she spent over a decade heartbroken by the separation from her father, but added that the recent ban would not prevent her from being proud of who she is.
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“I am American but I am not Donald Trump's version of American, nor will I ever be,” she said.
“I will fight to the death for who I am. I would rather die a Muslim than live a person I am not.”
Sam Dastyari, an Iranian-born Australian Senator spoke out against the ban, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that he feared being caught up in the U.S. ban himself.
“It's so saddening that as an Australian senator, despite having taken every possible step to renounce my Iranian citizenship, I can not tell you with any certainty whether I would be allowed in the US today,” Dastyari said.
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“And there are whole bunch of Iranians, Syrians and others living in Australia right now who are Australian citizens, who are proud of being Australian, and yet have not gone through that incredibly expensive process to renounce their dual citizenship who are now being treated by America as second class citizens.
"At the end of the day the decision [to accept renunciation of Iranian citizenship} sits in the hands of a handful of clerics who hate so much what the Australian-Iranian community stands for, which is democracy, tolerance, freedom.”
Trump released a statement following the executive action, attempting to clarify the specifics of the travel ban.
America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say.
My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.
To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.
We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days. I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.