Severe Weather Alerts

Local Refugee Community Center Reacts to President’s Planned Executive Order

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- President Trump plans to sign an executive order temporarily banning refugees from nearly a half - dozen predominately Muslim countries on Thursday, all areas he has deemed "terror - prone"

Close to 1,000 refugees fled to Iowa last year. Refugee resettlement center, Lutheran Services in Iowa welcomed the majority of them from Sudan and Somalia. More recently director of refugee community services, Nick Wuertz has welcomed families from Syria.

“I’ve meet recently a few of the Syrian families that have come to the Des Moines community in the last couple of months. I worked for several years with many of the Iraqi families that came to Des Moines.”

Under Trump’s executive order, those two countries are a part of the handful of others where refugees would be prohibited from entering into the United States. President Trump adds; Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Libya would also be on that list. The ban would be in place for 120 days while the administration figures out which countries pose the least risk; in an effort to strengthen national security.

However, Lutheran Services in Iowa says halting entry won’t solve the problem.

“The refugee resettlement process is one of them most lengthy and detailed processes that the United States has for its various immigration programs,” says Wuertz. “We don’t feel like it`s a real good way to help improve our nation`s security. We don`t see it as a real threat.”

The only threat Wuertz sees, is the threat of leaving refugees in war – torn countries.

“I think it’s something people are aware of and frightened about because a lot of them have family and friends still caught in these situations and fear there could be less support for refugees coming to the United States or less support for those still overseas.”

Under former President Obama’s plan, more than 10,000 refugees were expected to resettle in the United States by the end of this fiscal year, President Trump plans to slash that number in half.