A family of seven from the Democratic Republic of Congo will arrive in Charleston on Monday, the first refugees to resettle in the region since a federal appeals court declined to reinstate President Trump's executive order suspending the entry of refugees worldwide from the United States.
The family was originally scheduled to travel to the U.S. on Feb. 15, said Brian Evanger, refugee services coordinator for Lutheran Services Carolinas in Charleston. But their first flight was canceled after Trump halted the refugee admissions program, and they were forced to return to a refugee camp, leaving their resettlement plans in limbo.
They will resettle in the Charleston area with help from a North Charleston church, Evanger said.
The president's order barring the resettlement of all refugees into the United States for 120 days, plus Syrian refugees indefinitely, banned travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries for at least 90 days while federal intelligence and security agencies review their vetting procedures.
Within days of its adoption, Trump's order sowed chaos and confusion at airports across the country. On Feb. 3, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of the president's immigration and refugee ban nationwide. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the lower court's decision on Thursday.
"We have moved forward with arrivals continuing," Evanger told The Post and Courier in an email. "Obviously, any further appeals and/or executive orders could still affect that, and we are continuing to adapt to these changing conditions."