An Iraqi-American man who made headlines earlier this week by claiming that his ailing mother had died because of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration lied, according to the imam of his local mosque, Detroit’s Fox 2 reported Wednesday.
The original story was that Mike Hager, a U.S. citizen born in Iraq, was visiting relatives in Iraq but was forced to abandon his mother in that country when he tried to return home.
Hager said he was returning home with his family that included his sick mom. They were returning home to the United States where his mother has lived since 1995. As they were waiting in line at the airport in Iraq on Friday, he was told that he could pass through because he was a U.S. citizen. But his family members – including his mom – weren’t allowed, despite holding green cards.
“I was just shocked. I had to put my mom back on the wheelchair and take her back and call the ambulance and she was very very upset. She knew right there if we send her back to the hospital she’s going to pass away – she’s not going to make it,” Hager said.
Sadly, he was right. He said Naimma, who lived in the United States since 1995, wasn’t allowed to come home and he said she died in her native country. Hager said if it weren’t for the order, his mom would still be alive today.
He blames her death on President Trump.
Social media exploded with accusations of murder against Trump — including tweets by respected news outlets.
Trump travel ban's first death?https://t.co/lHfLUF4d6p
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) February 1, 2017
First death from Trump's immigration ban. https://t.co/ZSFlV8z1kd
— Tim Blais (@acapellascience) February 1, 2017
— High-Fruit Lifestyle (@Gary_High_Fruit) February 1, 2017
Elderly green card-holder who'd lived in US since 1995 dies in Iraq after being refused reentry to US https://t.co/0IrVX6uSBJ
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) February 1, 2017
But the story was a lie, concocted to feed opposition against Trump’s executive order, which suspends most travel from terror-prone countries previously identified as problematic by the Obama administration. Fox 2 set the record straight in a new story:
The leader of a mosque in Dearborn has confirmed to FOX 2 that a man who claimed his mother died in Iraq after being barred from returning to the United States under a ban instituted by President Trump this weekend, lied to FOX 2 about when her death occurred.
Imam Husham Al-Hussainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, says Mike Hager’s mom did not pass away this weekend after being barred from traveling to the United States. The Imam confirms that Hager’s mother died before the ban was put in place.
After the story aired on FOX 2 and was posted on FOX2Detroit.com, we received many questions about the validity of Hager’s claims that his mother died waiting to be approved to come home. FOX 2 has confirmed that his mother died five days earlier.
The story is now only the latest hoax in a string of “fake news” stories through which the left and the media have attempted to undermine Trump’s November victory and his new administration.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.