Local refugees react to Trump’s executive order on immigration

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Many people in Connecticut are concerned about President Trump’s executive orders restricting who can come into the country. Refugees are scared.

The New Haven agency Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, or IRIS, has been helping refugees like Mohamed Chaghlil. He is from Syria and has been in the United States since December. His mother lives in Jordan.

“Yes I want her here with me in the United States, but I don’t know how now,” he said.

Following Trump’s executive order, IRIS will be extending its services for refugees. Staff have been reassuring refugees who are already here that they will not be deported.

“I think the most patriotic thing we can do as Americans is to welcome persecuted people from other countries and help them start new lives here,” said Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS.

Feras Jalab is also from Syria; he moved to the U.S. six years ago. He doesn’t think the executive order will help make Americans safer.

“I wish this country to keep the heritage of what we’re doing here at IRIS, like keeping the heritage of accepting refugees,” said Jalab.

IRIS staff are afraid the executive order will make the refugee crisis worse, since if the U.S. blocks refugees from entering, other countries will let fewer in as well. However, Chaghlil hopes there will still be help available to refugees all over the world.

“This law is not good. Have to change,” he said. “Have to accept all refugees, anybody who needs help.”

George says even though some people are afraid of letting refugees enter the country, he wants to educate them. He wants to explain why refugees are coming here and to explain how they are vetted.

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