North Texas

Iraqi Interpreter Supports Trump Despite Travel Ban Impact on Family

April 22, 2010, is a date Ghazal Mustafa Ghazal remembers well. It was the day he landed in America from Iraq.

"I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t do anything," he recalled. "I was so excited, it was the best, craziest day of my life."

When the war in Iraq started in 2003, Ghazal signed up to be an interpreter for the U.S. Army, a job he held off and on until he immigrated to America. A room in his Rockwall home is decorated with honors and medals given to him from commanders and sergeants in the U.S. Army.

Embedded with American soldiers for years, he said he fell further in love with the freedoms of this country.

"That's why I believe the American dream. I supported it before I even saw it," Ghazal said.

In September 2016, six years after first legally living in the country, Ghazal became a U.S. citizen.

For the last five years, he has been trying to sponsor his brother to join him in living the American dream he has realized. In January, his brother received a letter granting him a second interview at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to move the process forward. However, it is now on hold.  

"It is not an easy thing to get a U.S. visa," Ghazal said, adding that although he had worked for the government and the military, it took him more than a year to come to the country on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV).

Despite the uncertainty of when, or if, his brother will join him, Ghazal said he understands the temporary travel ban enacted by President Donald Trump.

"I support my president, even if that affects me, my family, because I know what he’s thinking," Ghazal said. "He’s thinking for everybody’s safety and I agree with him 100 percent, 120 percent."

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