President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that has extreme repercussions for refugees across the world. The order indefinitely bans refugees from Syria from entering the U.S., it blocks refugees from any country from entering the U.S. over the next 120 days, and it blocks citizens—refugee or otherwise—from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. over the next 90 days. Right after the order was signed, airports in the U.S. and abroad began detaining refugees and residents from those seven countries, and some people were denied entry and sent back overseas, according to the New York Times.
Refugees are people who are forced to leave their home in order to escape conflict and persecution, according to the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. There are over 21 million refugees worldwide, according to the latest UNHRC figures. By placing this temporary ban on refugees, the U.S. is denying safety and opportunity to people across the world. And it’s dismissing what refugees stand to bring to our country as well—diversity, talent, ingenuity, and so much more. Steve Jobs, for example, was the biological son of a Syrian migrant.
Here, we rounded up 15 people you definitely know, but might not have known are refugees. These famous individuals escaped their home countries and found asylum in places like the U.S., the U.K., and Switzerland. And that started them on a new life path. To be clear, not every refugee has to become famous to “deserve” asylum. Every refugee deserves a safe haven—but these are a few people you might be interested to know were welcomed by another country when they needed to escape.