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20,000 Refugees Will Be Affected by Trump Resettlement Ban

Over the next four months, 20,000 refugees will be directly affected by Trump’s executive order banning resettlement and travel from seven Muslim countries, according to a UN report.

Humanitarian organizations warn that the consequences of Trump’s decision will be dire for refugees. Just this week, 800 refugees have been stuck in limbo after planning to resettle in the US and finding out their travel plans were cancelled. 

The United Nations Nations Refugee Agency, which did the math behind the resettlement and travel ban’s impact on refugees, said in a press release that it will affect truly “the most vulnerable – such as people needing urgent medical assistance, survivors of torture, and women and girls at risk.

“Refugees share the very same concerns about security and safety that Americans have,” UNHCR said.

The ban dashes hope for safety and the dream to build a new life for thousands who have been waiting patiently, for years, abiding every slow step, to enter a country that already has a relatively rigorous vetting processes

Read More: 17 Heartwarming Signs Welcoming Refugees in US Airports

Suleiman Yusuf, who fled civil war in Somalia, has been waiting 10 years to resettle in the US. He was planning to leave the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, in Kenya.  

"I was to be resettled in Minnesota. I am a teacher by profession and have been teaching at Dadaab. I was hoping to start a new life in America but we are now stuck going back to Dadaab," Yusuf told the Associated Press

Yusef is one of the 286 refugees in Kenya currently affected by Trump’s order this week, and one of 13,000 Somali refugees who had already been approved to start a new life in the US. 

The indefinite ban on Syria is also trapping refugees in war zones, according to Médicins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders.) The organization, which sends doctors to regions in 70 countries where medical attention is scarce, including conflict regions, released a statement opposing the suspension of resettlement for refugees in the US. 

Read More: Half of All Migrants Are Children, And Other Startling Facts About Refugees

“Every day our teams on the ground see people desperately seeking safety at closed borders and in war zones from which they cannot flee,” said Jason Cone, executive director of MSF in the US. “Slamming shut the doors to the United States of America, which has rigorously vetted refugees for years, is an attack on the basic accepted notion that people should be able to flee for their lives.”

Of the 85,000 refugees the US resettled last year, 37% were from Syria and Somalia, and Iraq — all countries the US will now not accept refugees. 

Only a miniscule 1% of refugees will be resettled globally, according to UNHCR. While it is outrageous that only 1% of refugees are resettled, it’s even more cruel to restrict this number further for those seeking safety and security in resettlement. 

Take Action: Sign the open letter to reverse Trump’s executive order here. 

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