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Lakers forward, Sudanese refugee Luol Deng responds to President Trump's travel ban

03 February 2017

Deng said (per the Los Angeles Times' Baxter Holmes), "From what I understand, I haven't seen a lot of refugees committing terrorist acts in this country".

Trump's order has resulted in protests both in America and worldwide. To really see a light at the end of the tunnel and to go toward that light and then that light is turned off is very hard, not just individually, but for the family. Deng became a British citizen in 2006 after the United Kingdom granted him political asylum.

Deng noted that it took his family five years to gain asylum and said a background check was likely done.

In a tweet posted on Monday evening, the 31-year-old wrote: "I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the opportunity to find refuge in a safe harbour". At the college level, Iowa guard Peter Jok, a Sudan native, also made a statement on Trump's immigration ban having a personal effect. "We're getting back to the days of, you know, putting the Japanese in relocation camps, and Hitler registering the Jews".

"I understand [a refugee's experience] because I went through it, people that are around me know it, because we speak about it and we do talk about it", Deng said. "Sometimes things happen that's out of your control, and all you can do is pray and be positive for a change".

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Deng is right. No refugee accepted by the United States, Syrian or not, has been connected to a major act of terrorism since the Refugee Act of 1980, according to a September 2016 analysis of terrorism immigration risks by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Detroit Pistons coach Stan van Gundy said in an interview with The Detroit News: "Now we're judging people by their religion - trying to keep Muslims out. Right now, it's just hope and being patient and seeing where it goes". "I'm just speaking out as somebody who had an opportunity who's a refugee and how I feel about it. When it comes to politics and all that, I leave that alone".

"If somebody told me a story and that's all I know, I'd probably act to what I'm hearing", he said.

"I'll most definitely do it", Young said. It's just what I believe and how I've lived my life. "Now, I'm thankful for growing up in Egypt, and I've learned a lot, but at the same time, I know what it feels like to wait for that opportunity to come every day".

Regardless, it is clear that this is a significant issue to Deng, especially as his foundation works to bring basketball "as a tool to give hope" to people around the world, including in Africa.