San Diego

Local Immigrants React to President Trump's Revised Travel Ban

Somali refugees in City Heights say they are heartbroken

For years, Ismael, a Somali refugee whom was granted citizenship, has been living in City Heights.

After he received political asylum in 2008, Ismael said his main goal was to bring his 68-year-old mother from Somalia to live with him.

“He said as an American citizen he applied for his mother to come here,” said Ismahan Abdullahi, who translated for Ismael. She works with the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), an organization that offers services for refugees.

Through the Family Refugee Resettlement Program, Ismael’s mother had been granted permission to live in San Diego.

But President Trump’s revised travel ban prohibits his mother from entering the country. Her travel date had been set for February 15th, but her ticket was canceled.

President Trump’s new order restricts refugees from six countries known with terrorist cells from entering the country. These include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The revised executive order was designed to replace the one stopped by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in January. Iraq is no longer included after they have promised to add more visa vetting measures.

Abdullahi said Ismael has hoped for years to be reunited with his family.

“All he can think about is the situation and how [she’s] feeling,” said Abdullahi.

Abdullahi explained the hardest part for Ismael has been accepting the deception that comes with revised executive order.

“You are thinking that now you have this opportunity to live a better life and then suddenly carpet is taken from underneath,” said Abdullahi.

Current visa holders and green-card holders should not be affected like they were in the previous order.

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