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Shaheen Visits Former Refugee And Calls Trump Travel Ban Un-American

josh rogers/nhpr

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited former Iraqi refugee Tamam Mohamad, at the Spice Center market in Manchester to call attention to her opposition to President Trump's new executive order banning U.S. from 6 Muslim-majority countries and freezing all refugee resettlement.

Mohmmad came from Iraq in the late-1990s with $20. He eventually became a citizen and returned to his home country for 3 years as U.S. military interpreter. He says Iraq may not be included in the President’s new executive order, but that doesn’t matter to him.

"It is not the point -- Iraq and Syria, whatever. The idea itself, separate the refugees, these people need help. It’s not about how many countries, it’s about the idea."

Mohammad's Spice Center employs 5 people, all immigrants. When Senator Shaheen stopped by she was served an Iraqi dessert.

"What is that?"

"Pistachio. The inside is always cheese. Today, I make cream."

But Shaheen didn’t sugarcoat her distain for what she says are President’s motivations.

"I don’t think this executive order was vetting refugees. I think this executive order was about promises that Donald Trump had made to the base of his party. And I don’t think that’s a good enough reason."

The president's order bars all travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days. The order also closes the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.         

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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