An organization that resettles refugees in New Hampshire says 11 individuals cleared to arrive in the state next month have been blocked by President Trump’s executive order.
Trump’s order halted new refugees from entering the country for 120 days during a review of the vetting process.
Amy Marchildon with Ascentria Care Alliance in Concord says seven families – 11 individuals in total – from Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo were set to be resettled in Concord and Nashua next month after two years of screening.
Marchildon says those cases are now on hold.
“It’s particularly disturbing that this pause may translate into several more months, even years for families because the different screenings at different points are time bound, and they may expire. When that happens, refugees have to go back in line and start the process all over again,” she said. “It’s already a lengthy process – it can be up to two years, even longer – and now families are at risk of having to start their screenings all over again.”
Marchildon says three of those families were coming to New Hampshire to join relatives who came here as refugees.
“Obviously, family reunification is very important to people, so there’s a great sadness that these families are put on hold,” she said.
Ascentria is one two nonprofit organizations that resettles refugees in New Hampshire. International Institute of New England was also working with refugees who had been cleared to come to the state who are now blocked due to the order, according to the Concord Monitor.