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Afghan family headed for First State despite travel ban

Delaware Public Media

An Afghan family of four is set to arrive in the First State Wednesday.

The family of Afghan nationals is exempt from President Trump’s travel ban because they’re on special immigrant visas – or SIVs - and aren’t technically considered refugees. That visa is reserved for foreign nationals employed by the U.S. government.


ACLU of Delaware staff attorney Ryan Tack-Hooper says the family won’t be affected by a Supreme Court decision last week to partially uphold Trump’s travel ban.


“That was the Supreme Court saying ‘no, in fact the travel ban can be enforced against refugees whose only connection is being connected through a resettlement agency,' ” said Tack-Hooper. “All of this is sort of just setting up what the state of play is until October 10th when the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the merits of the challenge to the travel ban.”


Tack-Hooper says refugees with connections to immediate family in the U.S. – including grandparents and grandchildren – could gain them U.S. entry before the Supreme Court revisits the travel ban next month.


But local coordinator of refugee resettlement efforts Lourena Gboeah says there’s no update on others with plans to come to Delaware, including those with family ties, like an Iraqi woman whose husband remains overseas.

“It’s very troubling especially when you’re waiting to be reunited with your spouse," said Gboeah.

That woman’s husband is one of seven refugee families that remain in the First State’s resettlement pipeline.


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