LSS of North Dakota Feels Impact of Executive Immigration Order

Three refugees from Iraq hoping to resettle in North Dakota are one example of those affected by the immigration order.

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota says the impact of President Trump signing the executive order on immigration came immediately.

It has stopped dozens of people from coming to the state.

Any state that welcomes refugees was expected to see an impact after President Trump’s executive order.

But the pace of the change of plans is what hit staff at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota by surprise.

“I think it’s the suddenness of the impact on so many families who were already in the process and had gone through the screening,” said LSS CEO Jessica Thomasson. “That has been difficult to manage for people who have been directly affected.”

Thomasson says there were 40 refugees approved and ready to travel to North Dakota in the next few weeks.

“Certainly there are people who have been going through the assurance process for years, who will kind of be on hold as the administration reviews its processes,” she explained.

Some were even scheduled to arrive this Thursday.

Thomasson says three of the cases are from Iraq and were supposed to leave over the weekend.

They were planning on reuniting with their family who has already lived in the state for years.

“There were individuals who live in North Dakota for quite some time and have just been awaiting their family members arrival and now learned that that won’t be happening,” explained Thomasson.

She said they are focused  on communicating the situation.

“We try to share as much information as we can with the individuals we work with as it comes available. We don’t know any more than anyone else but we want to make sure they know what we do,” she added.

Their mission remains the same to help people make North Dakota their home.

“We’re always hopeful and we recognize that the administration really wanted to review the processes that were in place,” Thomasson said.  “Make sure they were comfortable with the screening that our national security apparatus has been doing for a number of years.”

North Dakota’s Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer and Sen. John Hoeven both back President Trump’s move while Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, is against it.

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