Refugees arrive in Toledo once travel ban is lifted

Social Services for the Arab Community helps refugees resettle in Toledo during travel ban (WNWO).

TOLEDO, Oh. (WNWO) -- People in our area are closely watching what happens in court.

On Friday, January 27th, a refugee family was building a crib, waiting for their daughter and her children to arrive in America.

"I didn't really believe it at first when they told me I could come,” says Um Tiba, who arrived in Toledo three weeks ago.

After a three-year vetting process, this was finally the day. Until President Trump issued an executive order barring refugees from seven countries, including Iraq, from entering the US.

"When the first ban came, I lost hope. I didn't believe that I would be able to travel here. But when the second ban was lifted by the judge, my heart was overwhelmed."

Once the federal appeals court ruled in February to block the travel ban, Tiba was allowed into the country to join her mother.

"When we heard she was approved to come, we were ecstatic,” says Um Mohammad, Tiba’s mother. “It was heartbreaking thinking she would never be able to join us."

Their family had help resettling and finding housing entirely for free by the non-profit Social Services for the Arab Community.

"If there's anyone I think in the world that we should be standing by its refugees,” says Shane Lakatos with SSFAC. “Because they are the people who are leaving violence, they are not promoting violence, they're leaving violence. These are the type of people you want as your neighbors, you want as your friends."

For another Iraqi refugee who's resettled in Toledo, he says the new exclusion of Iraq from the new order is bittersweet.

"I wasn't very happy, because as an Arab, we are all connected together and when it happens to one country it should happen for all,” says Nashwan Saadoon.

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