Detroit man who said sick mother died due to Trump's travel ban had lied

Mr Mike Hager's mother, Naimma, died a day after she was prevented from boarding a US-bound flight.
Mr Mike Hager's mother, Naimma, died a day after she was prevented from boarding a US-bound flight. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WJBK-TV VIDEO

DETROIT - A Detroit resident who blamed US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban for the death of his ailing 75-year-old mother, had lied about it, US media reported.

US citizen Mike Hager claimed that the ban had prevented his 75-year-old mother Naimma from travelling from Iraq to the US for medical treatment last Friday (Jan 27), and that she died the next day.

However, a Michigan Islamic leader told WJBK that Mr Hager's mother, who suffered from kidney disease, had died five days before the ban was imposed.

Mr Hager said he had tried to board a US-bound flight with his mother, Naimma, and three other family members last Friday (Jan 27), US media reported.

Mr Hager said he was allowed to pass, but his mother and family members - all of whom are green card holders - were denied access.

Mr Hager's mother, who was ill and attempting to seek medical treatment back in the US, died a day later, he claimed.

The 90-day ban is targetted at citizens from seven Muslim countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - with a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the US, and an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria.

The order also places a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the US, and includes an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria.

 

Speaking to local news station WJBK-TV on Tuesday,  Mr Hager - who owns a local business and had lived in Michigan with his family since 1995 - criticised Mr Trump's ban for breaking up his family.

"They destroyed us. I went with my family, I came back by myself. They destroyed our family," he said.

"I really believe this in my heart. If they would have let us in, my mum - she would have made it and she would have been sitting right here next to me. She's gone because of (Mr Trump)."


Iraq-born Mr Hager moved to to the US in 1995. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WJBK-TV VIDEO

When WJBK contacted Mr Hager about his lie, he replied: "Since I lost my mom, I've been on heavy medication - I can't even sleep. I did not make anything up."

Born in Iraq, Mr Hager fled his country during the Gulf War and reportedly lived in a refugee camp with his family for four years before settling in the US.

He returned to Iraq in the 2000s to work as an interpreter and cultural adviser for the US Special Forces.