Yemeni father of 5 kills self after family barred from entering US

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump

A Yemeni-American Muslim man killed himself after the United States government denied his family visas under President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, according to NBC News.

The incident happened earlier this month, NBC News reported on Sunday.

Mahmood Salem's three youngest children are American citizens, but his wife and oldest two are not and the Trump administration denied them visas under Trump's travel ban, which targets several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen.

According to reports, Salem called his family, which was stuck up in Djibouti, on July 18 and said goodbye before killing himself.

Salem reportedly said during his final phone call that he didn’t have enough money to support them in Djibouti.

His brother Mimun Salem said the US government’s barring his family to reunite with him in the US caused his death.

“I’ll say it’s the first and main reason. I could give it 90 percent,” he told NBC. “He cannot bring them here and at the same time, he cannot take them back to Yemen."

Salem told his wife and kids he wanted to kill himself and hung up the phone, and the family called back again and again with no answer, his brother said.

Mahmood Salem with his children on a visit to Djibouti in November 2017.

The US-backed Saudi war in Yemen has raged since 2015. The conflict has killed about 14,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven Yemen to the verge of widespread famine, according to the Human Rights Watch.

Trump’s travel ban has been in place since December and the Supreme Court upheld it in June. The court rejected claims that the travel ban represented unconstitutional religious discrimination, and said that Trump's immigration restriction fell "squarely" within the president's authority.

During the 2016 presidential race, Trump campaigned for "a total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States on the pretext of preventing terrorist attacks.

Trump has said the restrictions are needed to tighten security and prevent terrorist attacks. Opponents say the ban violates the US Constitution because it discriminates against Muslims and certain nationalities.


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