COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Amina Ibrahim was separated from her young son when her family fled Somalia. She is now in Columbus. Her 5-year-old son is stuck in a refugee camp in Uganda.
“He’s alone there.,” Ibrahim said through an interpreter. “He’s helpless. He has no mother, no father.”
Anima was one of a half dozen Somali women speaking out Thursday about how President Donald Trump’s anticipated plan to aggressively restrict immigration from Somalia, Syria and several other Middle East and African countries will impact families here in Columbus.
Sometime this week, Trump is expected to pause the flow of all refugees to the U.S. and indefinitely bar those fleeing war-torn Syria. The president’s upcoming order is also expected to suspend issuing visas for people from several predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for at least 30 days, according to a draft executive order obtained by The Associated Press.
At an afternoon news conference, Angie Plummer, executive director of Crisis Refugee & Immigration Services said the restrictions are misguided. “This is not protecting our national security,” Plummer said. “This is destroying families. This is so inhumane it’s hard for me to ask them to come here and talk to you in front of the cameras.”
Amina Barhumi has relatives in Syria who were hoping to come to Ohio soon to visit but may not now be able to get visas as a result of the president’s plan. “The America that we so fondly speak of that’s open and inclusive – is no longer that,” Barhumi said.
Jennifer Nimer, executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations called the president new immigration restrictions “fear-mongering”. “He’s capitalizing on the beliefs of large groups of people that all Muslims are terrorists, no matter where they come from,” Nimer said.