"It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home — to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice," Mo Farah wrote
British Olympian Mo Farah is speaking out after President Donald Trump signed a controversial immigration and refugee ban on Friday.
Trump’s executive order suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days for nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Farah, a British citizen and CBE recipient who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, lives and works in Portland, Oregon, where he trains at the famed Nike Oregon Project with other runners. However, Trump’s new executive order might mean that Farah would not be allowed re-entry into the U.S. during the 90-day ban.
“On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm,” the 33-year-old gold medalist wrote on Facebook. “On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
“I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years — working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home,” he continued. “Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home — to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.
“I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams,” Farah wrote. “I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.”
Farah is one of the most recognizable long-distance runners and is the most decorated athlete in British athletics history. He is married to Tania Nell and the couple have three children — twin daughters Aisha and Amani and a son named Hussein. Farah is also stepfather to Nell’s daughter Rihanna.
British politicians have already started condemning Trump’s controversial order. On Sunday, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson said the U.K. would protect British nationals who would be affected by the ban.
“We will protect the rights and freedoms of UK nationals home and abroad,” he wrote. “Divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality.”
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Last week, while meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump confirmed that he had accepted Queen Elizabeth II’s invitation for a state visit in England later this year.
The visit, which was already considered controversial in the U.K. ahead of the immigration ban, has been met with a petition to rescind the invitation. According to The Independent he petition has already amassed 100,000 signatures, meaning that the issue must now be debated in Parliament.
Trump’s executive order has been met with outrage in the U.S., with hundreds gathering at airports across the country in protest against the ban. The order has also been stayed by a federal judge, but that stay would only affect those people who were already in transit when the order was signed.
Some are also calling into question the legality of the order pointing to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin. The federal stays have not addressed the constitutionality of the order, but the ACLU has vowed to continue fighting against the ban.
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Farah isn’t the only celebrity who has been affected by the ban. Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi might be unable to attend the Academy Awards in February due to the 90-day ban on Iranian nationals. However, it is unclear if Farhadi was planning on attending the awards or would be affected by the travel ban. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars, defended Farhadi and those that would be affected by the ban, calling it “extremely troubling.”
A White House source told PEOPLE that Farhadi would qualify for a waiver, but did not provide details on what that waiver entails.
Farhadi, whose movie The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, previously won the Oscar in 2012 for A Separation. Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in The Salesman, has already announced that she was boycotting the Oscars in response to Trump’s ban.