Saturday 21 April 2018

'90 Somalians have been deported already... this is now one of the biggest challenges of our time'

Ali Hanas says ban will affect Somalians in Ireland who have family in the US. Photo: Arthur Carron, Getty
Ali Hanas says ban will affect Somalians in Ireland who have family in the US. Photo: Arthur Carron, Getty

Gavin White

Ali Hanas has dual Irish-Somali citizenship and he believes the ban introduced by US President Donald Trump represents a "huge area of concern".

Citizens from Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Syria included in the ban. But despite having dual citizenship and an Irish passport, Mr Hanas (28) will not be able to travel to the US under the ban and said he was shocked when he heard this.

Protesters at the Miami International Airport against the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Protesters at the Miami International Airport against the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"It was a huge challenge when I first heard about the ban but it's so difficult to take when you have an Irish passport," he said.

"I know a lot of the Somalian population in Ireland were born in Somalia so this will affect a lot of those people, especially if they have family in the US," he said.

Mr Hanas has lived in Ireland since moving from Somalia 12 years ago.

"For Somalians with family living in the US, it represents a huge challenge. For the undocumented in the US currently, it makes Somalians and the other nations feel not safe," he said.

"I have already heard that 90 Somalians have been deported and forced to return to our country this week alone," he said.

Mr Hanas is the director of the Udug Association in Ireland. Udug provides support to migrant communities in the areas of youth development, community advancement and education.

Mr Hanas said he would like to see more signs of solidarity from Irish authorities in the face of the ban. "Of course we are interested in what the Irish authorities have to say on the matter, as it represents one of the biggest challenges of our time," he said.

Irish Independent

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