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Rochester Family Torn by President's Travel Ban

December 06, 2017 08:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) – President Donald Trump's recent travel ban has some local people worried that it will affect them directly.

 Habiba Sagal Ciise, who has family in Somalia, says the ban has them hitting a wall.

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"This really does affect our family because we were looking forward to our sister. We thought she was going to be here and you know just have that warmth of family together,” said Sagal Ciise.

 Since 1998, she and her family have been working to get their remaining family to the U.S. 

Recently her sister had been approved to come, but Monday’s Supreme Court decision to allow President Trump's travel ban to continue for now has completely shattered the family's hopes.  

Legal expert, Byron Henry, says "The third version of the travel ban that was enacted by the trump administration, the most recent version could go into effect despite lower court rulings in both the 4th circuit and 9th circuit."

The ban covers eight countries, six of which are majority Muslim.

"It still clearly targets the Muslim community. I think it's an insult to the American way of life," said Regina Mustafa, the Southeast coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

It’s a way of life that has been more difficult for Habiba Sagal Ciise and her family. 

"But right now, it feels like we forever have to take care of them because they're in a place where they don't have health care access. They don't have jobs," said Sagal Ciise. 

But although some are upset with the ruling, Henry says they should be focused on fighting their case.

 "I think the better choice is to apply for one of the waivers and to take a targeted approach. If you're really concerned about getting someone you care about to this country that's subject to the travel ban, you should be less interested in attacking the trump administration,” said Henry. 

Still, there is hope among those who say they will continue to look forward. 

 "As Americans, we have to continue to speak out against what we see as really actually against what our ideals are as American citizens. And try to have just conversations as much as possible and be involve civically with our neighbors," said Mustafa.

"They are just coming here for hope, you know. To live a better life.  People, sometimes, they miss the idea of what is a refugee, who is a refugee,"  said Sagal Ciise.

 The family says overall they've spent about $5,000 on trying to bring their family to the U.S.

The President and Homeland Security have said in the past that the ban is necessary for National Security.


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Roxanne Elias

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