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Department of Refugee Defence? Pentagon trolls Trump over visa-ban Open in fullscreen

Shams Al-Shakarchi

Department of Refugee Defence? Pentagon trolls Trump over visa-ban

Pentagon appears to troll Trump over his anti-refugee policy [Lance Cpl. Kyle McNan]

Date of publication: 26 January, 2017

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The Pentagon posted a tweet going against the anti-immigration rhetoric - a perfectly-timed coincidence or a small act of defiance against the controversial Trump administration?
A perfectly-timed tweet from the Pentagon on Wednesday has appeared to betray a small act of dissent against the Trump administration's controversial anti-refugee policy.

It comes just a day before several State Department diplomats who had served under Obama's Democratic administration resigned from their posts, as well as the chief of the Border Patrol.

On the same day new US President Donald Trump announced extreme anti-immigration measures, the US Department of Defense's Twitter account highlighted a story about an Iraqi refugee who later became a US Marine.

The tweet's timing raised eyebrows among social media users who wondered if someone on the military's social media team was subtweeting the White House by pointing out the contribution a former refugee is making to the US.

Corporal Ali J Mohammed fled Baghdad aged 16 after his family received threats from extremists. 

As refugees, they rebuilt their lives in America, with Mohammed learning English and graduating high school.

Now aged 23, he is a supply Marine with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and currently on the frontline against Islamic State group in Iraq where he translates Arabic for American and Iraqi troops.

"I had to face a lot of challenges coming to America," the Department of Defence quoted Mohammed as saying. "Trying to learn English and working to help support my family while going to high school was difficult."

"America is my home, but Iraq is my homeland," he added. "My biggest motivation right now is to help drive these extremist groups out of my home land, and being able to do that as a United States Marine is the most rewarding thing I could have asked for."

Trump on Wednesday laid down plans to block the entry of all Syrian refugees to the US and suspend the United States' broader refugee programme for 120 days.

The president also plans to suspend issuing visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days, according to the draft.

While the Marine's story was a fine example of how refugees can contribute positively to society, the Pentagon insists the tweet's timing was simply a coincidence and was planned well in advance.

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