Among the countless casualties of this heartless administration are more than 100 unaccompanied refugee orphans who have been stuck in limbo after Donald Trump’s travel ban blocked them from relocating to America to live with their foster families.
The Associated Press reports that these children, who have no guardians or adult relatives, are stuck in refugee camps or their home countries, where they are forced to carve out a living on their own in harrowing conditions. They have already been matched with American families, after a long selection process that includes a UN agency referral, a US security screening, and matching with a US-based foster care agency. Children approaching 18 face another hurdle: if they turn 18 while their paperwork is still being processed, the Washington Post reports, they will no longer be eligible under the program.
But after the implementation of Trump’s travel ban, these children are trapped indefinitely. While the Supreme Court will hear the travel ban arguments in October, the order continues to bar refugees and persons from the six Muslim-majority countries who do not have a “bona-fide relationship” with someone in the US. Children in the resettlement program have no adult blood relatives and therefore, in the Court’s eyes, no “bona-fide relationships” in the US.
Here’s the story of Tianna Rooney, a Michigan-based therapist, who has been waiting for her foster son to arrive from Eritrea from June:
Since the June day a refugee agency matched the Rooneys with their foster son, which turned out to be the same day of the first Supreme Court ruling barring him, “we have experienced this very unexpected ride of grief in our family,” says Rooney, a 39-year-old family therapist and mother of two from Brighton, a suburb of Detroit.
Meanwhile, the boy who fled his home country at 13 to avoid widespread forced military conscription of children continues to fend for himself on the streets in his temporary refuge in another African capital, with no phone or internet for the Rooneys to reach him to explain the delay.
Another couple awaits the return of their baby, born in a refugee camp in Myanmar:
Other waiting children include a 17-year-old couple originally from the Asian country of Myanmar and the baby they had together in a refugee camp, after fleeing attacks on their Rohingya religious minority in Myanmar.
In her home in another Detroit suburb, Sharon Martin, 64, has bought a crib for the young refugee family from Myanmar. But the children’s books she bought, Martin said, are really for her. “If they come, I can finally read to a child again,” Martin says.
Refugee workers say the family faces forced return to Myanmar if their U.S. arrangements fall through.
Read the rest of the report here.