By Jim Smith

BOSTON (CBS) —  People whose loved ones can’t get into the United States say the travel ban involving 7 Muslim-majority countries is tearing families apart, including members of one family who moved to the Boston area from Iraq.

“I don’t understand. This came out of nowhere,” Mike Hager said.

Hager was born in Iraq. Now a U.S. citizen, he earlier served as a translator in his homeland for U.S. Special Forces and the ambassador.

Mike Hager talks with reporters at Logan Airport Monday. (WBZ-TV)

Mike Hager talks with reporters at Logan Airport Monday. (WBZ-TV)

He went back to Iraq to visit his mother, who has now just passed away. He was able to to get back to Boston, but says relatives who have green cards have not been able to return.

“We put our lives on the line. I got shot twice in Iraq in Fallujah. And I sacrificed give all my life to this country. Now I’m coming over here with my family not with me,” Hager said.

And then there’s Mahdi Hashemian, an MIT student from Iran. He’s expecting his Iranian mother-in-law Wednesday, but she only has a visa. He came to Logan Airport Monday because he’s nervous she won’t get in.

“The atmosphere is changing. There is a lot of uncertainty. There’s a lot of fear of what might happen. What’s my future? That’s really frightening,” Hashemian said.

Even people who are not on the list of banned countries are nervous.

“I know that a lot of people were scared or second guessing what’s gonna happen here. I know that my mom is waiting for me to let her know. Even though I’m Palestinian, I’m not one of the seven countries. But still she was very very concerned,” Sinan AbuShanab said.

Immigration lawyers were back at Logan Monday, offering legal assistance to those international passengers who might need it.

Jim Smith

Comments (29)

  2. hocuspocus13 says:

    Were they worried about the Cubans


    Fact Check

  3. Alan B Flood says:

    I’m confused- we still have sanctions against Iran – we know they are still testing ICBM that could hold a nuclear warhead even tho they are currently banned from nuclear bomb research. Why would we be letting citizen of Iran go to one of out most prestigious engineering schools and he apparently has a wife here so he must come from some money and now he wants his mother-in-law to come here on a visa.? Iran has never signed the accords – the moolahs in Iran say they will never sign an agreement with Americans . Another person here interviewed here says he isn’t from the 7 listed countries – he is from Palestine and Palestine has a lot of people who belong to HAMAS and HAMAS wants to blast Israel to dust and would probably like to do the same to us. Why is he here in this country and why is his mother worried – she should be safe in Palestine – why come here where the big dragon lives that wants to control the world. Why let her son come here – not sure what empty space he is taking up in this country and why he needed him to immigrate here. CAn someone explain why in this day and age we are using the immigration customs of maybe a hundred or more years ago – the world has changed – immigration needs to be done different – we are not a giant food basket ready to feed the world – we must get our food from other countries now – our roads are not paved with Gold waiting for immigrants to come and grab their share – we aren’t even capable of taking care of our vets, our disabled, our seniors and the homeless, Why do we want to add more?

  4. Jim Smith, can you please help explain why your story on Mike Hager is so much different than Amy Lange’s story for Fox Detroit? Same guy, completely different commentary. I have no idea which one of you is pulling our leg. I suspect Amy is. Your story was first, yours included a video. Thank you!

    1. Lori Barber says:

      Thank you Russell Simpson. I was looking at the exact same issue. Is there such a rush to publish internet stories that facts are lost? The details here are different so I question the accuracy of all at this point.

      1. Lori, this was my reply from Amy Lange:

        Hi Russell,

        I don’t know what Mike told the Boston stations or what they chose to include or leave out – I can only tell you what he’s told us.


    2. Lori Barber says:

      I find that interesting. So, is it possible this award winning journalist Jim Smith misconstrued what was said? I am in disbelief. Did the person leave out to Jim Smith that the mother was turned away at the airport in Iraq? That’s the bigger story. I am surprised that was left out of the interview and if it was in this interview that it was left out of the story here.

  5. Lori Barber says:

    The Detroit station just updated their story to say: “Questions have been raised about the validity of Mike Hager’s claims that his mother died while waiting for approval to come to Michigan. FOX 2 news is working to resolve the questions about Hager’s story. We’ll update this page with further details.”

    So who knows. If facts can’t be verified in time for publication, why publish?

    1. I was under the suspicion that Mr. Hager became more and more angry and by the time he reached Detroit he’d embellished his story. I’m so tired of people doing that, which is why I’ve been in communication about it. I’m glad Fox 2 is seriously addressing my concerns.

      1. Lori Barber says:

        I agree with you, Russell. At this point, many outlets have shared the Detroit station’s story without saying that it is under investigation. Huffington Post and Time to name two. But he told the Boston Herald the same info that he told Jim Smith.

      2. I’ll need to flood Huffington and Time as well. In this day and age of fake news, this really shouldn’t be out there UNLESS it’s completely true. If true, it’s horrible and people need to know his story. If it’s not true… You know, It’s a shame that people feel a need to lie simply to escalate the tensions that we already see and feel. Only working together in truth can we solve all of these raging issues.

        Lori thanks for keeping me inforned.

    2. Lori Barber says:

      Russell, I don’t know if you’d be interested in looking at it- but there is also a story about this man from December 2016 on Fox 2 Detroit, unrelated to this incident. But notice what is said about his service in that story vs what he stated in this story and what he told Ms. Lange. I wonder about it. I don’t know if it’s true or false, I just question it especially now knowing he lied about his poor mother.

  6. This man claimed his mother died because of Trumps ban. He now admits to lying about it.
    He’s a POS!