MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 4-year-old Somali girl bound for Minnesota to be reunited with her family was kept from boarding a plane Monday in Uganda because of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.
Samira Dahir has not seen her daughter since she was just a few months old. Dahir was approved to come to the U.S. four years ago with her two older daughters.
Right after that approval she gave birth to Mushkaad and had to make the difficult decision to leave her behind. Dahir and her two older daughters came to Minnesota and have been working to get Mushkaad with them for the last four years.
She was supposed to arrive on a plane Tuesday, but President Trump’s recent executive order stopped her from getting on that flight.
“When I left my daughter, she was so young,” Dahir said, through tears. “I applied for a visa and waited for her for four years … and when everything is done, everything is changed.”
She got the call from Uganda early Monday morning.
“‘I will tell you some bad news,'” Dahir said, recalling the phone call. “‘Your daughter Mushkaad, she is not flying anymore today.'”
Dahir says she can’t believe the family reunion she spent four years working for has been called off the day before it was supposed to happen.
“I feel bad. Unbelievable, she is not coming any more,” Dahir said. “I am not seeing my daughter. That is so sad.”
Dahir broke down, and was unable to share the conversation she had with the child who had just been barred from the plane.
Lutheran Social service worker Falastin Hassan filled in the details. She said the little girl — through sobs — told her mother she had gotten her hair done and wanted to show it to her.
“She said she was emotional, and crying on the other side of the phone,” Hassan said.
Dahir says she and her two daughers — now ages 7 and 8 — were granted visas to the U.S. four years ago when she was pregnant with Mushkaad, who was born later. The two girls had prepared a bedroom and gifts for their younger sister, and are now devastated.
“My children — when they see the gifts, they cry,” Dahir said.
Dahir is also asking for the public’s support.
“I need more people to help me and support me, and help my daughters,” she said.
She also made a personal appeal to the president.
“Mr. Trump, please change your decision because you alone have the power. Me, I don’t have any power,” she said. “Please, Mr. Trump, change your order. I need my daughter as soon as possible.”
Both Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar’s office are working on the case. Sen. Franken’s office said they have repeatedly received contradictory information from Customs and Border Patrol.
Lutheran Social Services has also been tirelessly working to try and get the 4-year-old to her mother in Minneosta. Right now though, it’s not clear what is going to happen next.