Travel Ban

Tens of Thousands of Germans Barred from U.S. Travel

De Maiziere vor Drohnen-Untersuchungsausschuss
Mr. Nouripour became a naturalized German citizen in 2002 but is affected by the travel ban because he was born in Iran. Source: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA

U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the entry of travelers and workers from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States is affecting tens of thousands of citizens and residents of Germany.

Omid Nouripour is one of them. A Green Party lawmaker, Mr. Nouripour is the party’s speaker on foreign policy in the German parliament, the Bundestag. He is also vice chairman of the German-American parliamentary friendship group and of several other organizations that work to strengthen ties between the United States and Germany.

Despite these credentials, Mr. Nouripour is one of the estimated 100,000 German nationals with dual citizenship who are now denied entry to the U.S. That’s because he was born in Tehran in 1975, immigrated to Germany age 13 and acquired German citizenship only 15 years ago.

According Mr. Nouripour, Iran does not allow people to give up their citizenship.

“This has nothing to do with security, this is dirty symbolism and it’s poisoning our societies,” the politician, who has visited more than 40 U.S. states, told the news agency Reuters. He called the entry ban “ridiculous.”

“This has nothing to do with security, this is dirty symbolism and it’s poisoning our societies”

Omid Nouripour, Green Party, Member of the Bundestag

“Look at my son. He’s seven years old, was born in Berlin, his mother is German and he has nothing to do with Iran. Still, he can’t travel to the U.S.,” Mr. Nouripour said.

The Green politician called on the German government to speak up to protect the interests of its affected citizens. Europe, too, should reject Mr. Trump’s policy in unison, but he fears this will not happen.

“For example, Czech President Zeman has already said that he wants to support Trump’s entry ban and sees him as an ally in the fight against the E.U.’s refugee policy,” he said.

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