872 refugees are to arrive this week, amidst the temporary ban enforced by President Donald Trump against the refugees, as stated by a senior U.S. official.
If you’re unfamiliar with the controversial ban, it was an executive order which sparked outrage as many Americans recognized the ban as discrimination against Muslims. The ban applied to seven Muslim-majority countries including, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and Sudan for 90 days and froze the entirety of the refugee program.
According to Wall Street Journal, a Washington federal judge provisionally ceased the ban resulting in a momentary halt to the executive order imposed by Trump. These actions granted tens of thousands of visa-holders to attempt to travel to the U.S.
Along with the 872 refugees able to arrive in the U.S., Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, states the agency processed waivers for 1,060 lawful permanent residents and 75 visa-holders.
Wali Mohammad Omeri, a refugee, travelled from Afghanistan to the U.S. on a special immigrant visa with his family. Mr. Omeri received texts from family members in Atlanta that refugees were being turned away from entering the U.S., as stated through the Wall Street journal.
“I was hearing a lot of things and wondering what God is willing for us,” he said.
Mr. Omeri was familiar with conflict and combat, as an interpreter with the U.S. marines, and he was stunned by the possibility of being turned away. It was a struggle through the process of conjuring a visa as it took several years.
“I thought about how hard I worked for the Marines,” he said. “It had been such a long process to get a visa.”
Arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Mr. Omeri and his family were struck by a crowd of people with signs protesting. Initially, he assumed the protestors were against him and his family for arriving in the U.S., but then noticed that several signs translated to “Welcome”, in English. Comforted with the support, hope was significantly capitalised in the open-hearted greeting.