News of the Supreme Court’s ruling that allows enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban sent Minneapolis resident Mohamed Abdirisaq rushing to seek counsel at the local Women Child Safe Center. For him and his loved ones, the decision’s implications are immediate and personal.
Abdirisaq’s wife and three children, who live in Kenya, await resettlement in the Twin Cities.
“I’m heartbroken,” Abdirisaq said. “This decision denies my right to reunite with my family.”
Two of his children already fled to Europe when the situation in Kenya grew perilous. “My kids could get lost,” he said.
Haamid Ali, a local immigration attorney, said the legal fight isn’t over and the Supreme Court decision is a temporary enforcement until lower courts wrap up their legal wrangle with the administration. Still, he said, the ruling came as a blow.
“I have Yemeni and Somali clients whose families are not going to be joining them soon,” Ali said.
Ayan Isse, executive director of Women Child Safe Center, said “my clients are worried to death. I don’t know how to calm their nerves. Their families are still stuck in the refugee camps and some have even been deported back to Somalia recently. Our country is still not peaceful.”
Mustafa Hassan, executive director of African Immigrants Community Services, which helps connect recent refugee arrivals with resources, said the number of new arrivals has dropped drastically since Trump took office. “We used to get at least 200 families,” Hassan said. “This year we didn’t get any new clients.”
“This is going to impact them socially, economically and psychologically. How did the Supreme Court allow this to happen?”
Suud Olat, a Minneapolis resident, said his 16-year-old half-brother, who has failing health, is still in a refugee camp in Kenya, desperately awaiting resettlement. Olat said Monday’s Supreme Court decision is a tragedy to his family.
“My brother needs medical help and is in an unsafe situation,” Olat said. “The United States used to be number one when it comes to helping refugees. But now it’s turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable people.”