Hundreds of Somali refugees in Kenya who were days from travelling to the US to start new lives under a longstanding resettlement programme have been told they cannot travel, after Donald Trump’s executive order banned migrants from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months.
The refugees, who have all been rigorously screened by US and UN officials, have waited for between seven and 10 years for their resettlement to be approved and organised.
According to The Guardian, some had already checked in for the flight to their new homes in the US when they were told they would not be allowed to board the plane. Others had travelled to Nairobi with children ready to leave.
“These are people who have packed their bags, emptied their bank accounts, sold all their goods and said their goodbyes. Then they hear they are not going to the US after all,” said one aid worker in Nairobi.
In all, up to 26,000 people who hoped to travel to the US have been hit by the new measure. The total includes those cleared for imminent travel, as well as those whose applications are under review.