KENT, Wash. — While the U.S. ban on refugees is said to be temporary, families who have been waiting for their loved ones to arrive fear President Donald Trump’s executive order will have lasting implications.
They say the vetting process is already a rigorous one, and without clarification on how to make it even tougher, families don’t know what’s next.
Q13 News sat down with a brother and sister who are Iraqi refugees. They have been waiting for two years to reunite with their mother and sister, who are still in Baghdad, but now the restrictions on refugees has them concerned that a reunion might never happen.
With the help of a translator, we learned Yuosuf and Intiser Qasim fled for the same reason many refugees have -- they were afraid they`d be killed.
“Al-Qaeda killed brothers, killed my brother in front of my eyes,” described Yuosuf Qasim, who not only witnessed men gun down their youngest brother, but three other siblings were kidnapped and are still missing until this day.
It brings Intiser to tears just looking at old pictures, especially knowing her mother and sister are still in danger.
“My sister is stuck there,” said Intiser Qasim through a translator. “She was here and she went back to meet my mom. I call my mother every day, and I wish to see her here.”
They`ve been waiting to reunite in Western Washington for the last two years but say Trump’s executive order restricting refugees will make an already difficult process near impossible.
“They did vetting on all my vetting, on my sisters, brothers in law,” said Qasim. “It`s not easy to get into the U.S.A. The vetting process took very long.”
They Qasims say the vetting process took them six years. However, they aren't losing hope because they still believe the country that saved them will not abandon their family and so many others.