SEATAC, Wash. — President Donald Trump’s travel ban drew criticism from resettlement agencies working to help refugees.
Some said there has been a great deal of uncertainty for families waiting to reunite and for their mission moving forward. Lutheran Community Services is dedicated to helping refugees all over the world. Thursday’s decision refusing to reinstate the ban by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had their employees cheering.
“I’m really excited today,” said Khawla Hadi, an Iraqi refugee. “I’m one of the ones cheering today.” Just last week, Hadi, an Iraqi refugee turned U.S. Citizen and counselor at Lutheran Community Services, shed tears as she told Q13 News her story. She didn’t know if she would be able to visit her ailing mother in Iraq. Now, she’s ready for her trip. Hadi and her colleagues like Anisa Ahmed and Abdi Hassan, both refugees from Somalia said this decision gives them so much hope in the country they now call home.
“I’m very happy the country allowed it to open to refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers,” said Hassan.
Ahmed said there are so many people hoping for a better life.
“I’m very happy for the people who would be given the chance to come and lead a successful life and be part of the American dream to get a job and go to school,” said Ahmed. Lutheran Community Services didn’t just watch the process unfold. Its leader, David Duea, served as a witness for Washington’s Attorney General in the state’s case against the executive order.
“We’re a Christian organization, but we serve all faiths, and we serve all organizations and we are proud of that fact; we believe we are all god’s children regardless of where you’re from or how you practice your faith,” said Duea.
While President Trump said this fight isn’t over; on this day, these refugees and their supporters are claiming victory.
“The door of hope is open and this is the most important thing for me,” said Andrew Kritovich, a Ukrainian refugee, who is now a program director at Lutheran Community Services.
Lutheran Community Services leaders say there is still some level of uncertainty as the case is expected to head to the Supreme Court, but they say even during this restraining order of the travel ban, they were able to reunite families. Now they’re hopeful they’ll be able to continue doing just that. They currently have more than 200 people waiting in the pipeline.