Immigration order strikes fear in local refugees

White House defends immigration ban; ban strikes fear in refugee population

The White House is defending a controversial travel ban that's sparking chaos and confusion at airports across the country.

President Donald Trump's executive order imposed a 90-day ban for people from seven countries with majority Muslim populations. That triggered protests and lawsuit in several cities over the weekend.

Clark Atlanta Student Reham Noaman is still stuck in Saudi Arabia because she's from Yemen, one of the countries named in the temporary ban.

Fact check: Trump's immigration policy vs. Obama's

11Alive’s Valerie Hoff met a 30-year-old Iraqi refugee who has a green card, but said he is now afraid to visit his family in the Middle East and fears they may never make it to the U.S.

The refugee said he was injured in a bombing attack in Baghdad. His seven-year struggle to come to the U.S.  ended in 2013.

“Don't know anybody, don't speak the language,” he said. “It’s been hard, but it’s been great.”

He proudly displayed his green card, and said he dreams of becoming a U.S. citizen.

“I would be proud to be an American,” he said.

This young man still hopes his family will get here someday.  Today, he said he is fearful and uncertain, but also grateful for the country he says saved his life.

“In my car there is American flag and I'm really proud to wave it and say I'm American,” he said.

Paedia Mixon runs New American Pathways, which helps hundreds of refugees get settled in metro

“Some have lost family members, been threatened, been tortured, they've been jailed. They've lived in refugee camps for years at a time," she siad. "They've lived through the worst of the worst."

She said around 20 refugees scheduled to arrive soon have already been denied entry due to President Trump's executive order.

“Those flight have been canceled and for those countries that were part of the ban, we don't know if they'll get the opportunity to come here again,” she said.

Mixon said the vetting process for refugees from any country can take years and they are very carefully screened.

Georgia ranks eighth in the nation for receiving refugees from war torn areas around the world, taking in about 1,000 in the last quarter of 2016

PHOTOS: See the protests around the country against President Trump's travel ban

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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