Mo Farah: Queen made me a knight, Trump made me an alien

‘I have to explain to my children why Trump introduced a policy based on prejudice’

British athlete Mo Farah has criticised  Donald Trump’s immigration policy  saying it was based on ‘ignorance and prejudice’ that could keep him apart from his family. Photograph: Getty

British athlete Mo Farah has criticised Donald Trump’s immigration policy saying it was based on ‘ignorance and prejudice’ that could keep him apart from his family. Photograph: Getty

 

British athlete Sir Mo Farah said on Sunday it was “deeply troubling” that he may not be able to return home to his children in the US following Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven mainly-Muslim countries.

The Somalia-born four-time Olympic champion has since found out he will be allowed travel back to the US, despite earlier fears he could be affected by the ban.

The ban prevents those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the US for 90 days or more.

In a statement, Sir Mo, who lives and trains in the US, said: “On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. 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.

“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.

“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.”

Sir Mo trains in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife Tania and their four children.

He moved to the UK from Somalia when he was eight, becoming a British citizen.

A British passport-holder, he does not have dual nationality or hold a Somalian passport.

Sir Mo is currently training in Ethiopia.

PA