Mike Hager, a Detroit business owner and former Iraq war contractor, voiced severe devastation after finding out that his 75-year-old mother died within 24 hours of being denied entry into America, WJBK-TV reports.
“She would have been sitting right here next to me. She’s gone because of him,” Hager said in reference to President Donald Trump.
On Friday, he departed Iraq with family to help transport his mother, Naimma, to Detroit for treatment. According to the outlet, Naimma lived in the States since 1995 and held a U.S. green card. The family was enjoying a trip home when Naimma suddenly fell ill. Hager said he thought nothing of returning home since they all had green cards and had lived in America for over 20 years.
Little did he know, legislation efforts in America would permanently derail his life. On the same day, President Trump signed a 90 day executive order barring entry for citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, among them Iraq.
Hager was the only person allowed through the gates, while the rest of his family was left behind, including his sickly mother.
“I was just in shock,” he said recalling the scene where he was forced to leave his mother in the airport. “I had to put my mom back…on the wheelchair and call the ambulance and she was very upset. She knew right there if we send her back to the hospital she’s going to pass away – she’s not going to make it.”
Hager sought refuge in the United States during the Gulf War and ultimately became a U.S. citizen in 1995, according to the outlet.
He says he deeply loves America and risked his life for his country, taking a bullet in the back during his service in the military. But for all of his efforts, Hager is also concerned about his status due to the ban:
“If I’m not wanted overseas in Iraq and I’m not wanted here, then where do I go? What am I supposed to do with my family?”