Former Refugee Speaks Out on Potential North Dakota, National Ban

Kuwar Farok came to Fargo as a refugee more than 20 years ago

North Dakota lawmakers are getting ready to vote on a bill which could potentially close the state’s doors to incoming refugees.

In response, hundreds have signed up on a Facebook page to rally at the Civic Center in downtown Fargo on Thursday afternoon.

We sat down with a man who came to Fargo as a refugee more than 20 years ago.

“In 1988, my family fled Saddam Hussein’s persecution of Kurds,” said Kuwar Farok of Fargo. “We went to a refugee camp in Turkey. We stayed there for three years and that’s where I was born. Two of my siblings were killed. One of them was young, and a bomb flew and hit near our house and they died.”

Kawar Farok and his family became American citizens in the early 1990’s, shortly after coming to North Dakota.

His parents still live in the metro.

“They’re proud Americans that go to the ballot, they go vote, they do all these things that aren’t just sitting at home and benefiting from the government,” said Farok.

In light of the recent temporary refugee ban by President Trump, Farok agrees our vetting needs to be improved.

But he does not think banning them is the answer, and could be dangerous.

“Even though George Bush did it, and so did Barack Obama, but at this time, it’s a very sensitive time. The ideology of ISIS is to turn people against America,” Farok said.

Farok graduated from MSUM five years ago and has been working at a bank ever since.

He says he’s taught many new refugees of the area about banking in the past.

“Refugee doesn’t mean somebody that sits at home comfortable and decided, ‘hey, let’s go to America.’ Refugee means somebody that fled from persecution,” said Farok. “Go look at these little kids that have just survived bombings. Then you tell me if you really want to close your doors.”

The newly formed Fargo-Moorhead Refugee Advisory Council is planning a rally in protest of the North Dakota house bill which could halt refugee resettlement.

Proponents of the bill say the government should have more of a say on who comes into our communities.

We reached out to lawmakers who support the bill, but none of them could be reached for comment at this time.

The House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing for the house bill this Friday.

Categories: Business, Local News, News Landing Page, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections