Fajer* and his wife were living in their home in Iraq with their four children. Both parents are highly educated, and the family enjoyed a very happy and busy life. Then they began to receive death threats because they are part of a targeted ethnic minority. Fajer was arrested and endured torture while he was held. After Fajer was released, a close family member was murdered. The family ran from their home; they left everything behind.
Then they began to receive death threats because they are part of a targeted ethnic minority.”
They began life as refugees, and Fajer found CVT Jordan. He and two of the children came for rehabilitative care and began to feel better and to rebuild their lives. They felt that their lives were getting closer to normal.
The screening process for resettlement took two years, but finally they were approved to move to the U.S. They started their preparations to travel and took the children out of school.
They were scheduled to travel to the U.S. in February 2017. However, in late January, they were informed they were not going to the U.S. They were not given any explanation for the change.
The U.S. Travel Ban was announced January 27, 2017, stranding the family in exile. As survivors of torture and war atrocities, the abrupt change caused relapsed psychological status. And the family is now stuck.
“The U.S. was a beacon of human rights to us. This action contradicts the view we held of American values,” Fajer said.
The family cannot return to their home country – they will be killed. However, they also cannot stay indefinitely in Jordan, which has had to expand its refugee support dramatically as the crises in the region continue.
So Fajer and his family are trying to get resettled to a different country, all the while suffering from lack of financial resources, and bleak and uncertain conditions. The travel ban ended the only way for them to build a new life.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality and security.The name Fajer means Dawn of a New Day or Dawn of a New StartPhoto credit: Dreamstime
Funding for CVT’s work in Jordan is provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.