PROSPECT PARK, N.J. -- Mohamed T. Khairullah, the Syrian-born mayor of Prospect Park, is responding to U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order restricting access from seven largely Muslim nations into the country.
At 4:43 p.m. on Friday, exactly a week after Trump signed his order, Khairullah shot back with his own signature on an order: "upholding the borough's policy of anti-discrimination and a commitment to provide equal municipal services to all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender or immigration status."
Trump's ban hits close to home for Khairullah, whose family fled his native country when he was a child.
Trump’s order imposes a 90-day ban on entry to the U.S. for visitors from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq. It also bars Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days.
“Prospect Park in New Jersey happens to be a town of many immigrants, so No. 1, we wanted to put their minds at ease at a time when immigrants and immigration are being attacked,” Khairullah said just before signing the order of the reason for his move, adding that immigrants can “come to the municipality without any fear of our employees becoming agents of the federal government and reporting them.”
The travel ban is an especially sensitive issue for Khairullah, who is Muslim and whose wife is a green-card holder from Syria.
“If and when she decides to leave the U.S., she could be separated from her husband and her daughter,” he said.
“We need to continue the dialogue of where we need to head as a nation. Immigration is really what made this nation great, Khairullah said, noting that the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was of Syrian background.
“By building walls and banning people, we’re really not helping people and we want to make that point.”See Attachment