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International Rescue Committee

Refugee mother in Idaho still waiting for husband's arrival



BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's travel restrictions from Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela.

Although the travel ban has changed over time, the International Rescue Committee tells KBOI many aspects of the original order are still affecting the refugee community.

One refugee woman living in Boise came to the United States in 2015 with her seven children. She was newly married and the law said her husband had to stay in Tanzania.

The IRC says one of the original executive orders put a halt to family reunification petitions, putting entire continents between loved ones. That order was overturned but IRC says nothing has changed.

The woman didn't want to be identified and told her story through a translator. She says she applied for her husband to come through the family reunification process shortly after arriving herself.

"I'm feeling so bad because I want to be with my husband. And if we want to go out, we have to go together and sometimes we can't go all of us with the kids like other people. But for me right now, it's not the case, it's so bad because there is no joy."

She says they've done everything they are supposed to do but he hasn't been accepted and life is only getting harder.

"All the single moms who came here in America, it's like they are in trouble because life is so difficult for them. The way they are taking care of everything, even if they try to save something it's not possible because one of the child will come and say, 'I don't have shoes. I don't have this, I don't have that.' You have to buy it. But if you have your husband, you know you are two people taking care of kids. It will not be like single mom trying to do everything by herself and the income is very low."

She says if one of her children is sick she has to miss work, sometimes for several days. She says she has cried many times over how she will pay her bills.

"Most of the time I pray to God all night because, oh God, help me not to be sick. If I fall sick right now it will be a disaster because I'm the only person who is working. If I fall sick right now, that's the end of everything."

The IRC in Boise says it has 74 applications in for family reunification. Six of those have been officially approved but the IRC says it hasn't seen a single family reunited as a result of this process.

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