Officials with refugee resettlement program say Muslim ban reversal is a sign of hope


LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) — Officials with Church World Service in Lancaster were paying close attention to the first hours when Joe Biden became president.

On Wednesday President Biden signed an executive order which ended a ban on travelers from several majority-Muslim countries.

Valentina Ross, officer director of CWS, said the “Muslim ban” separated families in Lancaster.

“We have for an older woman who arrived a couple of years ago from Somalia,” Ross said. “She was expecting her older children to be settled here as well.”

CWS helps refugees get settled in America.

Ross said doing away with the Trump policy that restricted entry into the United States from primarily Muslim and African rights a wrong done by Trump.

“The Muslim ban definitely ran counter everything that this nation stands for,” Ross told abc27 News. “It was inhumane because it targeted groups on the basis of their religion.”

 The Trump administration cited national security concerns at the time it put the ban in place in 2017.

Ross said it’s tricky to see how quickly the reversal of the policy will have an impact on Lancaster. She said that’s because President Trump also capped the number of refugees allowed in the United States to 15,000.

Ross said she expects more refugees to be allowed into the United States when President Biden has his say.

Ross said she is telling families she helps to remain hopeful.

“It’s finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and the possibility tomorrow will be better and tomorrow you will be able to hug your family members again,” Ross said.

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