Dubuquers speak about President Trump’s immigration policies
DUBUQUE – Political disagreement over President Trump’s efforts to limit travel and immigration continues to make headlines at the national level.
The President is forging ahead to find ways to fulfill his campaign pledge to build a wall against the backdrop of his travel ban being blocked in court.
Both orders impact people in Dubuque.
Dr. Salah Abusin is originally from Sudan. He says he moved to Dubuque to be closer to his sister, who lives in Iowa City. As part of the Muslim community, he’s enjoyed being on the Advisory Board of the new mosque that was built on Radford Court.
He says the reaction from the neighborhood around the mosque has been very positive.
“They were very happy to have an Islamic Center in their neighborhood, so it’s been great actually,” he said.
However, happiness from finally building the mosque turned into worry when President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Those include Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Iran.
Dr. Abusin immediately considered what could have happened if he was in Sudan visiting his parents when the order was signed.
He said, “I have my wife and two kids here…sometimes I travel on my own, I wouldn’t be able to come back to join them, so that’s the immediate effect.”
As a cardiologist, he was also concerned about his patients.
“You can imagine the impact of a town that has six cardiologists; when you have two or three of them not able to come back – a lot of doctors are foreign, some of them are from those countries – you can imagine how that impacts patient care,” he explained.
In all, he believes the order was signed irrationally.
“I think that any measure taken to limit the entry of harmful people should be well thought out ahead of time without causing so much damage to a lot of people,” Dr. Abusin said.
In regards to President Trump’s Mexican border wall, Loras student Marcos Vega thinks its a waste of money and materials.
He said, “you could build hospitals with that stuff, you could build parks, you can create rehab centers for veterans.”
Born in Dubuque, Marcos is an American citizen, but his parents and sister are from Mexico. Talk of the wall is still hard on his family.
“Ever since things have happened its kind of been a little bit stressful on us, even though I am an American, I still get the implements of being illegal because of the accent I have, even though I’ve been trying to fix it,” said Vega.
Both Dr. Abusin and Marcos have similar messages to the American people: not all immigrants are bad.
Dr. Abusin said, “most of the people who come from these countries actually provide a great addition to society.”