Immigration Moves Worry Refugees Already Resettled In Nevada


Alex Brandon/AP

Protesters hold signs near the White House during a protest about President Trump's immigration policies.

For decades Catholic Charities has assisted in resettling refugees in Nevada, picking them up at the airport, finding and furnishing apartments, and introducing the newcomers to American culture and the English language.

That work has slowed in recent days.

Several anticipated clients were turned away following President Donald Trump’s immigration order that put a 120-day halt to refugees entering the country.

The ban is now in legal limbo. On Friday, two states won a temporary restraining order that suspended the president's ban. Then over the weekend, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused the administration's request to put the ban back in place.

The federal government has until 3 p.m. PST Monday to submit additional legal briefs to the 9th Circuit in support of the president's order. The court is expected to make a quick decision on the matter.

All of the back and forth has raised concerns among refugees already living in Nevada, even though their status is not affected by the president's executive order.

“A lot of people who are not actually citizens, who are green card holders, or that right now are waiting to get their green cards have the same thoughts. They are afraid, they have fears to go back,” said Catholic Charities Case Aide Supervisor Haron Parwani, who served as an interpreter for American troops in his native Afghanistan.

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Parwani left Afghanistan because his life was threatened for helping American troops for 11 years. 

Carisa Lopez-Ramirez is the vice president of migration and immigration services for Catholic Charities. She said they're doing their best to ease people's fears about what is next but they don't have a lot of information.

"We're getting this bits and pieces but right now what we do know is that the executive order only references to refugees that have not arrived," she said, "It does not reference to refugees that are already here."

Las Vegas-based Catholic Charities has worked to reassure its current clients and inform the public about the details of Trump’s Jan. 27 order.

The social service organization has received an outpouring of support from the community and is holding a workshop Thursday for those interested in assisting the group.



Carisa Lopez-Ramirez, Catholic Charities vice president of migration and immigration services; Haron Parwani, Catholic Charities case aide supervisor

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