Our first visit was with a young Iraqi woman who arrived in the United States a few months ago from Jordan just before the birth of her baby girl. Her husband was an interpreter for Americans in Iraq. He was not able to accompany her because he is not Iraqi and not considered a refugee. The couple is hoping he will be able to get a US visa to relocate. Her adult sister, who is deaf, is with her and helps with the infant.
We next visited two single Congolese sisters who spent 8 years in a refugee camp in Ethiopia before being resettled in the United States. Each has a young, pre-school son. They do not know if anyone in their family in the Congo is still alive.
Our third visit was with a young Iraqi family who had to flee Iraq after threats against the husband’s father, for political reasons. The threats extended to all members of the family. The threats were followed by burning down the father’s house. At that point, the man’s son and his young family moved to another city for safety, but the threats followed them there. Several members of their family have been killed in Iraq. After the young family’s car was burned, they fled to another country, and were recently resettled from there to Arizona.
Finally, we visited an Iraqi widow who, with her 11 year old son, has been resettled in Phoenix. She has two more sons, older, who are still in Iraq and whom she is trying to stay in touch with and to find a way for them to get to the US, to join her and to reach safety.