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Monday, February 6, 2017
US refugee ban hinders resettlement of Pakistani Christian refugee family
A Pakistani Christian family who had fled Pakistan, seeking safe haven in Thailand is eyeing for refuge in the United States now however, recent ban on refugees in the United States is hindering their entry into the United States. Details emerged that the U.S. government has approved resettlement of the Pakistani Christian family in New Mexico in February 2017.
The battered Pakistani family of four includes 43-year-old Cyril Kamran, his wife, Samina, and two kids had fled persecution in Pakistan in December 2013. Since then they had been living in Thailand until they applied for asylum in the United States. After waiting patiently meanwhile the lengthy refugee vetting process continued the refugee family was given a green signal, nonetheless the recent ban has tainted their hopes.
The affected family managed to detail their plight to Christian Post via Christian charity group British Pakistani Christian Association. As their resettlement has been halted, the family now faces mammoth sized problems in Thailand.
Apart from their deteriorating health and financial crisis, they are now facing likely fine from the Thai government for being illegal immigrants. If fined they may have to pay about $1,700 for their overstay in Thailand. In case they fail to pay the fine, they may face detention at an immigration detention center.
“Majority of the [refugees] don’t have the visas and if you don’t have visa that means you are under constant threat. We are still experiencing this fear on daily bases. Your children cannot go out for play and you live in your apartment all the time with the doors locked from outside most of the time,” Kamran stated in an email to The Christian Post.
“There are no job opportunities for us. If you are caught during work then again, it’s a big problem for employee and employers. Employers exploited our status and sometimes they didn’t pay anything at the end of the month and threaten asylum seekers and the refugee community [by saying] ‘If you ask for money, we will call the police and they will arrest you,'” the email said.
Kamran further explained that on January 26, he and his family participated in a cultural orientation course at a resettlement support center. He said that he was informed that they would be provided with receive a travel plan in two to three weeks after the course.
The Christian family was expecting to be resettled in the United States in February. “All the steps for resettlement is done and we are only waiting for the tickets,” Kamran explained while adding, “They informed us that we are going to Albuquerque, New Mexico.”