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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The face of Hope

By Bob Plain in Rhode Island’s Future

2016-03-07 Syrian Refugees 014Refugees from Iraq, Syria and Somalia should be arriving in Rhode Island between today and next Friday, thanks to a Seattle judge’s stay on President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island spokeswoman Jessica Barry said a total of 13 “people who had been previously approved to arrive for resettlement, but whose travel was shut down by the ban” should be here between February 6 through 17.

Last week, during the initial fallout of Trump’s controversial and confusing executive order, RI Future reported that a Syrian man and a Somali family slated to resettle in Rhode Island were stuck in limbo

They are now on their way to the Ocean State, Barry said.

“They have been toughly vetted and have been waiting to come to their new homeland for several years,” she said.

According to an email obtained by the Associated Press, the State Department told American refugee organizations “focusing on booking refugee travel through February 17.” Said Barry, “After this initial stay through Feb 17th we will see what happens to others’ in the pipeline.”

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Dorcas expects six Iraqis, six Somalis and one person from Syria during that window.

Rhode Island’s primary refugee resettlement agency, Dorcas had resettled 99 refugees in the Ocean State since October 1. 

Prior to Trump’s so-called travel ban, Dorcas had expected, Dorcas had expected to resettle another 107 refugees this year.

“Fingers crossed that the stay on the EO holds firm!” Barry said.

Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.