Syrian Refugee Family Arrives At O’Hare Amid Immigration Ban Lift

CHICAGO (CBS) — When President Trump’s travel ban was halted on Friday, it urged refugee families to act fast before conditions change — and the first wave of those refugees arrive Tuesday.

It was an emotional scene at O’Hare International Airport, as a Syrian family reunited Tuesday evening with loved ones, just one week after they were turned away from the U.S.

It wasn’t easy, but one Syrian couple along with their 16-month-old girl now call America and Chicago home, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.

Last week, they were supposed to be reunited with family already re-settled here in Chicago, after fleeing Syria and living in a Turkish refugee camp. They were denied entry.

A group of women calling themselves the Lincoln Square Moms teamed up with RefugeeOne to sponsor the family and raising money.

They furnished an apartment and a crib, which was waiting for the family.

“This is the country of dreams and this is where they will rebuild their lives,” Alisa Wartick says.

But there is still an air of uncertainty for the squad of volunteer attorneys at O’Hare Airport ready to assist travelers with immigration problems.

“We are very anxious right now anticipating this ruling,” said Immigration Attorney Martin Perez.

The ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals isn’t expected until later this week, and could instantly alter the ability of refugees and those with visas to enter the country.

At RefugeeOne, who’s social programs settled 840 refugees in Illinois last year, workers are also on edge.

“Just like everyone else, we’re waiting in anticipation,” said Jims Porter of RefugeeOne. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to continue to allow refugees to enter the country.”

RefugeeOne said when President Trump enacted the travel ban, it blocked 15 families from coming to Illinois.

 

 

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