A Michigan man falsely claimed his mother died in Iraq after President Donald Trump’s travel ban went into effect, a local imam said Wednesday.
Mike Hager, the man, had told a local Fox affiliate that his mother was stranded at an Iraqi airport after Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries went into effect on Saturday.
Hager — an American citizen and a former refugee from Iraq — said he was allowed to board a flight home, while his mother was not. Hager said he had travelled to Iraq with relatives to visit his ailing mother.
“They destroyed us. I went with my family, I came back by myself,” Hager said. “They destroyed our family.”
However, a local imam, Husham Al-Hussainy, clarified to the Fox affiliate that Hager’s mother had actually died on January 22, five days before Trump’s signed the executive order. Al-Hussainy said Hager’s mother had been receiving treatment for kidney disease in Michigan.
Since Trump’s election in November, there have been several incidents in which local officials have said individuals embellished incidents related to the president.
A Muslim teenager who reported being harassed on the New York City subway by supporters of Trump fabricated the story in December, police said. And an 18-year-old student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who claimed that she was assaulted and robbed by two white men in the morning after Trump’s election admitted to police she fabricated the incident.
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