ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Families in St. Louis are reeling from the impact of the President Trump’s new travel and refugee restrictions.
St. Louis's International Institute, which helps immigrants and refugees assimilate to life here, reports at least 53 cases of refugees waiting to join their families in St. Louis, who've just been canceled out of the process by President Trump's executive order.
A Syrian mother, who’s been in St. Louis as a refugee with her husband and two children for about six months, had a message for the President after learning her parents and her husband’s cousin would no longer be joining them in St. Louis. Through a translator, she essentially said “you may as well let us go back to Syria to die with our families”.
Their relatives are in Jordan ready and waiting to come to St. Louis as refugees, her husband said.
That won’t happen now.
“Right now there are more than 300 Syrian refugees and other immigrants who are frightened,” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said at a news conference, blasting the President’s order.
He joined the CEO of International Institute, Anna Crosslin.
They called on Mr. Trump to ease the restrictions and at least allow people who've already been through an 18-24-month vetting process and received security clearances to come to St. Louis.
Saba Khaleel, now a U.S. Citizen, who came to the United States as a refugee from Iraq in 2008, is waiting for her mother, sister, brother-in-law, and their three children to join her family here.
They left Iraq and have been in Turkey, waiting to fly here within the next week or two. Khaleel has been apartment shopping and buying things for them to help their transition. They won’t be coming, now.
“She called me. She was crying. I was crying,” Khaleel said. “I don’t know what to do for her. I’m shocked. They’ve been waiting in Turkey now for 3 and ½ years. I lost my father last year in Turkey. I didn’t have a chance to see him again. Then when they found hope, there’s hope in USA, everything disappeared…everything just changed in a minute … I only wish the President would look with mercy to all.”
“A population that of 3,000,000 people who’ve been admitted since 1975, has not included anyone that’s been involved in these horrific shootings and bombings that we’ve seen happen here in the United States,” Crosslin said. “Refugees are not the problem. In fact, they are part of the solution.”
Khaleel said her six relatives were still in Turkey but couldn’t stay there, couldn’t go back to Iraq, and can’t come to America.