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Half Of Refugee Resettlements in Texas Canceled After Trump Order

Stella M. Chávez
Families of travelers detained at DFW Airport over the weekend spent hours waiting for the loved ones.

More than half of the refugees who'd planned to settle in Texas in the next month are out of luck. Refugee Services of Texas says 57 of 112 planned resettlements have been canceled after President Trump's order to suspend the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program.

In Dallas, the International Rescue Committee had been working on resettling 20 refugees this week in Dallas. But since the executive order, the trips of 11 of those refugees have been canceled. They’re from some of the seven Muslim-majority countries listed in Trump's order. Those countries have a 90-day travel ban.

Some of those refugees fled Syria and two of the affected families are from Iraq. The other countries affected by the 90-day tavel ban are Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

“Two of the families where the principal applicants of the families – the husbands and fathers – had worked as translators and interpreters for the U.S. military during Operation Freedom,” said Daley Ryan, the rescue committee’s deputy director.

Ryan said all of the refugees had been vetted and cleared to come to the U.S., and they were supposed to reunite with family in Dallas.

“This is really depriving those innocent families who have already gone through the process,” Daley said. “They’re the most security-vetted group to enter the United Sates and slamming America’s door to them putts innocent lives at risk and it does absolutely nothing to make us any safer.”

On Monday, Refugee Services of Texas said that the resettlement of 57 refugees across the state had been canceled while another 55 refugees would be resettled this week.

The International Rescue Committee is planning on welcoming nine refugees to North Texas this week. They’re from Nepal and El Salvador.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.