Trump’s Travel Ban Delays Refugee Sisters From Congo

CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking refugees from entering the U.S. is putting some families in uncertainty.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole takes a look at people in the Chicago area who are working to clear up the confusion.

Volunteers from Northfield’s Temple Jeremiah have been preparing since last fall to welcome a pair of refugee sisters from Congo.

The girls lived in a camp in Zambia for eighteen years, were vetted and finally cleared to arrive this past weekend.

But President Trump’s executive order regarding stricter scrutiny of all refugees placed the women’s transit in a state of limbo.

“It has been a very big roller coaster ride,” said one volunteer. “All they want is a safe place to live.”

As protesters rallied at airports across the nation, refugee support groups pleaded with the State Department to get the sisters and hundreds like them already in the system cleared for travel.

“There’s been a lot of back and forth ever since the executive order was signed on Friday,” said Jessica Schaffer, who is with the Jewish Child and Family Services. “We’ve wondered if these sisters would make it through.”

Volunteers learned on Sunday that the sisters would be granted entry. They are among the 850 refugees already cleared by the State Department that the Trump Administration is now allowing into the country.

“Grateful for those who were able to make it here in the next few days, but there are so many more we need to give that same opportunity to,” Schaffer said.

The volunteers helping the refugees are still riding that roller coaster.

The sisters left Zambia for Doha, but a security issue kept them from continuing on to the U.S. The particulars of that issue are unclear, but both sisters are expected to arrive at O’Hare Airport Wednesday afternoon.

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