Possible last refugee family to arrive in Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Possible last refugee family to arrive in Spokane

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Waiting to welcome possible last refugee family. Waiting to welcome possible last refugee family.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A refugee family is expected to arrive in Spokane on Thursday afternoon, and they could be the last ones to arrive for a while.

That’s because of President Trump’s executive order suspending the nation’s refugee program for 120 days while they review security and vetting procedures.

This family, a single mother and her two kids, are fleeing Eritrea, a country torn by border conflict and poverty.

“They've been in Ethiopia for nearly a decade waiting to be accepted into a third country for resettlement,” says Katie Carver, the lead resettlement specialist with World Relief Spokane.

She says these are people facing persecution. Last year, World Relief Spokane resettled 600 people.

“These are people that had to flee for their lives, that had no choice to leave their home countries. They didn't want to leave their home countries but it was that or be killed,” she says.

But the future is uncertain. By the end of the week, there won’t be anymore refugees arriving, and that’s going to affect people here locally.

“We don't have work to do, especially my department,” she says.

Carver says they receive federal funds for their resettlement program, but with no one to resettle, those resources go away. They’re also not sure what’s going to happen after that 120 day period.

Despite the uncertainty, Carver says the organization will stay afloat.

“We will always, always stand by refugees and immigrants and serve them to the best of our ability,” she says.

The processing time for a refugee can take up to 3 years. For more information: https://www.worldrelief.org/blog/who-is-a-refugee-and-what-do-they-go-through-to-get-to-the-u-s

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