(The Independent newspaper) Donald Trump’s “cruel” ban on people born in some Muslim-majority countries from entering the US will prevent a British Conservative MP from visiting his children, he has revealed.
Nadhim Zahawi, a British citizen who is now banned from entering the US simply because he was born in Iraq, said the “hugely discriminatory” ban was “demeaning” and “sad”.
He revealed that the ban means he now cannot visit his sons who are studying at Princeton University in the US state of New Jersey, who he previously saw “quite a bit”.
Last year Mr Zahawi travelled to Princeton to care for one of his children who he said had a “life threatening illness”. He said this would now be impossible under Mr Trump’s new anti-Muslim laws.
The first day of the discriminatory ban has been marked by reports of refugees being turned away at US airports, including people who worked as translators for the US military fighting against Isis.
Theresa May was criticised last night for refusing to condemn the policy despite British citizens being affected. In the early hours of this morning after midnight Downing Street rushed out a U-turn statement saying that she did in fact oppose it, though she has yet to personally criticise it.
The row came just 24 hours after the Prime Minister stood side-by-side with Mr Trump and hailed a new era of cooperation with the US regime.
Mr Zahawi said that Britain should not turn a blind eye to the policy, which he predicted would fuel support for Isis in Iraq and other countries hit by it.
“I don’t think we should look away when President Trump makes a mistake,” the MP told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
“I think as his closest allies, Theresa May made it very clear when she talked about us going after the ideology of Daesh not just on the battlefield. This plays into their ideology: it is counterproductive.”
Speaking of his own personal circumstances, he added: “Our two sons are at Princeton University so we need to travel to America quite a bit.
“I don’t think I’ve felt discriminated against probably since little school when young kids were very cruel as a little boy coming from Iraq of Kurdish origin. For the first time in my life last night I felt discriminated against. It’s demeaning, it’s sad.
“One of my sons had a life-threatening illness last year, spent time in a hospital in Princeton, wonderful healthcare in Princeton University hospital but we couldn’t have travelled if we were going through the same thing now.
There are many other human stories – the community in the UK. There are hundreds of thousands of people who were born in Iraq who are now British citizens. I always thought we were equal.
“I’m proud Stratford upon Avon, 98 per cent white, voted in Nadhim Zahawi, the son of immigrants, an immigrant to this country as a member of parliament. I hope he’ll reconsider this.”
Labour’s Harriet Harman, speaking on the same programme, said Ms May had suggested Mr Trump’s ban was “nothing to do with us”. “It is to do with us. I understand she has to be careful but she also has to be strong. I’m very disappointed in the Prime Minister.”