U.S. citizen Farhan Anshur was reunited with his wife and two kids Sunday night at the Minneapolis airport after they were detained under Donald Trump’s travel ban. The Somali refugees had arrived on a family reunion visa from Kenya.
“Friday I was so worried about my kids. They said that my wife would be going back to Africa. But finally, we are here together,” Anshur told CBS news.
Anshur said he believes his wife Binto Siyad Aden was released after a federal judge in New York intervened issuing an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from the seven Muslim-majority countries subject to the 90-day travel ban.
Trump’s executive order temporarily bans citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also bans the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Anshur told reporters at the airport that he was overjoyed to be reunited with this family. He wanted Americans to know that he stands united with them, no matter what.
“I just want to tell American peoples to be together, we are one, we are one. And we are united no matter what. If you’re black, if you’re white, no religion, whatever you believe, we have to be together as United States of America.”
Anshur from Somalia — who is now a U.S. citizen living in Minnesota — was bringing his family to the U.S. through a special visa that reunites families, so they could be together again. His wife and kids were living in Kenya for several years after fleeing Somalia.
He told reporters that his wife was subject to harsh treatment while she was detained; and was told that the kids could stay but that she’d have to go back to Somalia.
“They harassed her and threatened her with handcuffs and arrest; they forced her to sign a form stating that she and her children will be deported, but she refused to sign for the kids and told them their father is an American citizen,” Anshur told VOA News.
Amid global backlash, Trump on Monday denied his immigration order was to blame for the chaos at the country’s airports over the weekend. He said computer glitches and protesters were at fault.
“There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter the country,” Trump wrote in a series of early morning tweets. “This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!”
— With files from the Associated Press.