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Somali refugees await relatives amid travel ban uncertainty

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Associated Press Published: March 16, 2017 3:50 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Somali refugees in Ohio continue their wait for overseas relatives amid uncertainty created by the proposed White House travel ban and new court decisions blocking that ban.

Columbus has the country’s largest percentage of Somali refugees. Some of them haven’t seen spouses, parents or children for years.

Thirty-two-year-old Ayan Arab (EYE‘-yahn ah-RAB‘) hasn’t seen her husband in five years but hoped before the bans that he’d cleared the hurdles necessary to join her from a camp in Uganda.

Angie Plummer, executive director of Community Refugee and Immigration Services in Columbus, says the bans prevent refugees in the pipeline from coming and add new delays as security clearances expire and must be repeated.

Judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked the executive order from taking effect as scheduled on Thursday.


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