Future of local refugee services remains uncertain after Trump's executive order

LAS VEGAS - President Donald Trump signed two new executive orders at the Pentagon Friday.  One was to rebuild the military, while the other executive order was to implement "extreme vetting" procedures for refugees coming into the United States from countries with connections to terrorism, so now the future of refugee services remains uncertain.

The only agency offering resettlement assistance is in Las Vegas. Last fiscal year, Catholic Charities helped more than 3,000 refugees.  Many of them were from middle eastern countries. 

When 8 News NOW reached out to the organization, Catholic Charities said it's business as usual, but they anticipate getting briefed sometime next week.

Meanwhile, a local Iranian refugee has decided to share her story with 8 News NOW.  Nanda Sharifpour says she has always used art as a form of expression, but it was her talent that made her a target in her homeland of Iran.

"It was a lot about femininity," Sharifpour said.  "When it comes to women, there are lots of things that are not socially acceptable."

Sharifpour says she remembers having to cover her hair as a child.

"You can see a very young girl wearing a scarf," Sharifpour said as she showed 8 News NOW a childhood picture.

Sharifpour said her husband decided to seek refuge in Turkey where here parent are after they received numerous threats.

"When we fled our country we had no idea what we were doing," said Sharifpour.

Then after three years of paperwork and interviews, in 2012 the duo was told they were moving to the United States.

"It's happiness and anxiety at the same time," Sharifpour said,

The couples' picture is now hung on a wall at Catholic Charities, the organization that helped them resettle in Las Vegas.

"Our commitment remains the same until we hear otherwise," said Carisa Lopez-Ramirez, Immigration and Migration Services, Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities says it's monitoring the developments out of Washington, D.C., but as of now, they are on pace to have another record breaking year.

"Currently right now we are continuing to receive arrivals and preparing for those arrivals," Lopez-Ramirez said.

The immigration and migration services at the organization are funded by the federal government.  It's unlikely the changes to the refugee vetting process will have a direct impact, but it may affect the number of clients that come through their doors.

"I can definitely understand the anxiety over, unfortunately, negative things," Sharifpour said.

Sharifpour agrees with President Trump's idea of keeping terrorists out, but she's afraid innocent victims may get caught up in the mix.

"When you take that second chance away, it's equal with sending them back to death," said Sharifpour.

The two largest groups of refugees come from Cuba and Congo, but Middle Easterners make up the third biggest group of refugees in southern Nevada.
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • #OurPain
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Turkey-Thon
  • Vegas Strong 5K/1-Mile
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Politics Now
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Connect with 8 News NOW
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center