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Travel plans for Syrian refugee family set to resettle in Delaware rebooked for this week

Megan Pauly
Delaware Public Media

A federal court’s move to temporarily halt President Trump’s travel ban means a Syrian refugee family may be able to arrive in the First State this week as initially planned.

Before the ruling, the President’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority counties from entering the United States left the family of three in limbo in Thailand.

Monday morning, their travel plans were re-booked and showed up in a database managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


But Sarah Green, Refugee Resettlement Volunteer Coordinator for Jewish Family Services of Delaware, remains only cautiously optimistic.


“There is still an appeal happening in the 9th Circuit Court," Green said. "So the decision could come out of that the travel plans get canceled again.”


The ACLU of Delaware tells Green the courts could decide within 48 hours whether the travel ban should be reinstated or the freeze upheld, but the lawyers add a reinstatement of the ban is unlikely.


Delaware's Attorney General Matt Denn joined attorney generals from 14 states -New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia – as well as the District of Columbia to file a joint brief Monday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals in support of Washington state's case against Trump's executive order.

The brief cites several examples of the executive order’s disruption at various state colleges and universities as well as state medical institutions, and diminished tax revenues from students, tourists and business visitors.

“I am grateful to the state of Washington for taking this leadership role in ensuring that the President complies with the Constitution and laws of our country," Denn said in a statement Monday. "I hope that this litigation will help repair the harm caused by the reckless drafting and implementation of this order, and ultimately result in a federal immigration policy that protects Americans’ safety and also comports with the law.”

The Islamic Society of Delaware’s Ali Khan says he and others plan to greet the Syrian family at the airport this week. His family is also preparing to have the family stay with them a few days before settling into a more permanent living situation.


“They’re excited and happy that we will help another family as a community live their American dream," Khan said.


Green doesn’t plan on having lawyers on hand when the family arrives, but adds her decision would change if the travel ban is reinstated while the family is in transit.


Jewish Family of Services of Delaware has a town hall meeting planned for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington to bring the public up to speed on the state’s refugee program, and other legal questions raised in the last week.



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