Two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong tells Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated that he’s concerned and saddened by the executive order on immigration that U.S. President Donald Trump signed last Friday.
“When I saw the news, I cried,” Lopez told Sports Illustrated. “I was very emotional about it. What if that document had been signed in 2001? Where would I be? I would have no career. I would have no degree. I would probably be dead.”
Lopez is a native of Sudan, one of seven countries whose citizens have been temporarily barred from entering the United States. Lopez came to the United States in 2001, became a U.S. citizen in 2007, represented the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and was the U.S. flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics.
Lopez told Sports Illustrated that, in the wake of Friday’s executive order, he’s worried about his brothers Peter and Alex, both of whom have student visas to attend U.S. universities. Lopez helped the two come to the U.S. in 2009.
“I don’t want to have to think about my brothers getting rounded up and deported,” Lopez told Sports Illustrated. “They have grown up here. They have friends here. They speak English, and they don’t even speak the language from our country. They are working on citizenship. If they have to go back, they will end up dying there.