Families Told Loved Ones Might be Forced to Restart Resettlement Process after Executive Order

February 01, 2017 07:17 PM

Twin Cities refugees say they are being told that family members who are going through the resettlement process will likely be forced to start the process over as a result of President Donald Trump's executive order, temporarily banning refugees from the United States.

According to policy experts with the International Refugee Assistant Program, the refugee resettlement process has certain deadlines related to medical and background checks. For hundreds of people, those deadlines will come and pass in the next few months during the ban.

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June Way, a refugee who came to Minnesota four years ago, is waiting on her mother to get to the United States. Her travel day to leave Thailand was set for Feb. 22.

"The situation right now is really make me angry," Way said. "I have been waiting for four years to be with my mom."

Way said after speaking with her mother and several advocates at the International Institute of Minnesota, she's been told the medical paperwork is set to expire before the ban is supposed to be lifted.

Way said if that's the case, she's heard that her mother will have to start the process over again and thinks she won't see her again for one or two years from now.

Nasra Hesen, a refugee from Somalia who arrived in St. Paul last year, is in a similar boat.

"Everybody has got a dream," Hesen said. "Our dream was to come to America."

She hasn't seen her two adult sons since 2007, when the family was separated.

"I wish I could do something and bring them here," Hesen said. "It's been a long time since we've seen each other."


Kirsten Swanson

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