TAMPA, Fla. - There are hundreds of refugees that call Tampa Bay home.
They've been fortunate enough to leave a war-torn country, but their struggles aren't over.
Now, with the Supreme Court allowing full enforcement of the president's travel ban, they have to deal with being separated from their families.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that President Trump's immigration travel ban against six majority-Muslim countries can take full effect while legal challenges against the latest version are still tied up in courts.
The ban applies to people from Syria, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also restricts citizens from North Korea and some groups from Venezuela.
It's the president's third version of his travel ban.
Local nonprofits like Radiant Hands that help these refugees resettle in the U.S. say they’ve seen little change since the announcement this week. They’ve already been struggling since September, when the president announced the new travel restrictions.
“When the new travel ban came out, it seems to have been enforced because our numbers have gone down from six families a week to two families a month,” says Magda Saleh, president of Radiant Hands.
With fewer refugees, it’s made it harder to receive donations, Saleh says.
The change has also forced them to shift their priorities from helping families resettle in the U.S. to helping the children and adults already here in Tampa Bay become successful.
Seventy percent of their clients are children.
“We're going to look at more job training and better job placement,” she says. “We're looking at investors to open up small businesses to employ them and strengthen them.”
Finding apartment complexes to house these refugees has also been a challenge for the nonprofit. People have flat out told Saleh they're scared of them.
“Some had to stay in motels for 2-3 weeks until we could convince somebody that they're really good people. They're not going to be a threat to your apartment complex,” she says.
It's not just refugees that may be shunned from our society, Saleh deals with it as well, despite being an American citizen.
The mosque where her family comes to worship, The Islamic Society of New Tampa, was deliberately set on fire in February.
This isn't the only country these refugees are banned from entering. Magda has also seen other countries join in and push them away.
You can find more information on donating to or volunteering at Radiant Hands here.
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