Less than two years ago, Somali refugee Sahra Hassan Absuge and her eight children arrived in Kansas City International Airport, having managed to squeeze through a tightening slipknot on refugee travel. Through the help of local relief agencies, the family was able to start anew — the mother would take on work as a janitor while the children went to school. All that was missing was Sahra’s husband and the children’s father, Abdullahi — as of today, the family has been separated for four years.
For the last few years, Sahra didn’t know if her husband was dead or alive, but eventually they found one another on the internet. But Trump’s Muslim Ban continues to separate the family. “By the grace of God…my husband will be with us one day,” says Sahra. “Then I can rest. I won’t need to worry about what happens to the children if something happens to me.”
Through much of 2017, a 90-day ban on all citizens traveling to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, was enforced. According to the Kansas City Star, “the Absuge family’s rescue out of a single room in a Kenyan slum and into the house on North Brighton Avenue was made possible by federal judges applying the breaks to President Donald Trump’s travel crackdown.”
The Absuge’s family were one of the fortunate ones as the Trump administration’s restrictions has basically halted Muslim refugees immigration. Jonathan Hyde, a spokesman for Della Lamb Community Services, which sponsored Absuge and her children, says that besides the Absuge’s, he could only think of one other Muslim individual who recently emigrated into Kansas City from a Muslim-majority country. “Who’s telling them no,” quips Hillary Cohen Singer, director of Jewish Vocational Service. “That’s a great question.”