MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Four-year-old Mushkaad Abdi was just a baby when she last saw her mother. In 2013, Samira Dahir made the difficult decision to leave her youngest child behind with family friends in Uganda and bring her two older daughters to the United States.
After Mushkaad was born, the family was told that in order to get travel clearance for their newborn girl, the entire family would have had to start the years-long, difficult process from the very beginning. The plan: Get the older girls to the U.S., and continue working to bring Mushkaad to Minnesota.
After years of separation, the long-awaited family reunion was scheduled for Jan. 31. But those plans were put on hold when President Donald Trump’s executive order blocked U.S. entry for citizens of 7 countries, including Somalia, for at least 120 days.
Sen. Al Franken and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota worked directly with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly throughout the weekend, and called a press conference to highlight the collateral damage of an order aimed at preventing acts of terror.
Mushkaad arrived Thursday and was clutching her mother’s hand as Samira Dahir addressed the media Friday.
Sen. Franken statement
"This case shows that the president's executive order is dangerous, indefensible, and is hurting Minnesota families. It's been heart-wrenching for Samira and her two older daughters, who have waited to be reunited with Mushkaad since she was an infant. I'm very pleased that after far too long of a separation this Minnesota family is now together. This case proves that President Trump's executive order was poorly thought out, poorly executed, and above all wrong for Minnesota and the nation."
Sen. Klobuchar statement
"The executive order has caused chaos, and its impact has been felt deeply by families and businesses in Minnesota. I am so glad that Mushkaad is now safe at home in the United States with her mother, Samira, and her two sisters. However, we know that Mushkaad is not the only child who was waiting to be reunited with their family and caught up in the aftermath of this order. I will continue to advocate to help families in the state."
Minnesota asks federal judge to block travel ban
Minnesota and Washington are asking a federal judge to immediately stop the implementation of portions of President Trump's immigration travel ban. The states filed a lawsuit on Wednesday and appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday.
They argue the executive order is a violation of the constitution, because they say it requires the states to engage in discrimination based on national origin or religion. Washington-based companies Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia are supporting the lawsuit, because they say the executive order hurts business.