Local Iraqi Native Who Worked with U.S. Army in War Reacts to Travel Ban

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- "To every problem there is a thousand solution(s)," said Ghassan Abood, an Iraqi native who now lives in West Des Moines as a United States citizen. Abood says President Trump's executive order on travel restrictions isn't the right one.

"Not this way. I mean he's trying to do something right, but what he did is not right," said Abood.

The President's order resulted in an Iraqi man who had worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq being detained over the weekend at New York's JFK International Airport. Hameed Khalid Darweesh was separated from his wife and children for more than 19 hours while he was questioned.

"The U.S. Government trusted him in the war zone, you know, with the military secrets, you know, with missions, with all kinds of information," said Abood.

Abood can relate to the story of Hameed Khalid Darweesh, because he also worked as a translator with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

"I used to live on post with the U.S. folks...I used to see American folks more than I see my family and my kids. My son got born while I was at work. I couldn't be there for him," said Abood. "If I wanted to do something bad I could have done it back then."

Abood is now a U.S. citizen. He and his family love America and have made Iowa their new home.

"I always tell my family, my people back home, I tell them how nice people are here," said Abood.

But now he worries about his family's future, and about the impact of the travel ban.

"I have my sister, she's married and her husband is still overseas and he's still on his paperwork process, and recently in the last three months she just got a new born baby, and his baby got born here so he's a citizen, but right now we are afraid. She needs to go and see her family and he needs to see his son," said Abood. "There is a big chance that I'm not going to be able to see my sister or my nephew again."


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