Life in limbo: Diary of a Syrian mom impacted by travel ban

ABC News has been chronicling the knowledge of Alaa Ali Alali, a 48-year-old single mother who fled war-torn Aleppo in 2012 with her 14-year-old son, as she tries to navigate her way to the U.S. as a Syrian refugee following President Donald Trump's executive...

Life in limbo: Diary of a Syrian mom impacted by travel ban

ABC News has been chronicling the knowledge of Alaa Ali Alali, a 48-year-old single mother who fled war-torn Aleppo in 2012 with her 14-year-old son, as she tries to navigate her way to the U.S. as a Syrian refugee following President Donald Trump's executive order, which banned Syrian refugees indefinitely from getting into the nation. She had been cleared to come to the U.S. in February, but the executive order threw that into limbo. She will share her journey by way of videos, text messages and telephone calls.

Alali was greeted with cheers and applause as she walked into the arrivals terminal at Oakland International Airport on Wednesday evening.

"I cannot think that I am here appropriate now," Alali told ABC News. "I do not think. It looks like a dream, seriously."

Alali's brother Hassan, who has not noticed his sister in years, was one of the loved ones members waiting for her at the airport. He handed her a bouquet of flowers. Their lips were trembling as they embraced each and every other. "It is a quite unique day," he told ABC News. "Finally she is with us, secure. And she is starting a new life. Hopefully she’s going to be pretty prosperous. I’m incredibly happy. It’s a great day … very unique day in my life."

Alali had previously told ABC News that she was afraid that she would by no means make it to the U.S. for the reason that of the executive order that had banned refugees from Syria indefinitely from entering the country. The order was suspended by a court ruling.

These days, Alali messaged ABC News from the airport in Cairo. She would soon board a plane to New York.

"I feel relieved now," she mentioned in a video recording. "I’m going to meet my household once more."

Alali located out that she will board a plane to the U.S. tomorrow. She stated she went to meet with case workers from the International Organization for Migration in Cairo. The two previous occasions she went to such meetings, her planned U.S. trips had been canceled -- but this time seemed distinctive, she said. She even signed a letter promising she'd repay the IOM for the plane ticket that was booked for her.

"I am incredibly satisfied that I'm going to see my father and brothers," Alali told ABC News in Arabic more than the phone.

Following Alali fled her war-torn Syria in 2012, she tried to apply for a visa to the U.S. so that she could stop by her mother there who had entered a coma. But Alali in no way got a visa and her mother died just before she could see her. Alali mentioned she had been afraid the similar would come about to her father who is in his 80s.

"I haven't seen my dad for 5 years and some of my brothers I have not seen for 10 years. My mom died there and I couldn’t see her. Following my mom passed away, my dad has been alone. My brothers enjoy him and are extremely sort to him, but in that age you have a variety of weakness. When I talk to him on the phone he always cries. The program is that we'll reside with each other the three of us -- my dad, my son and I. I hope my happiness will be full and that I'll in fact be traveling to the U.S. tomorrow. I am scared that one thing will come about. Surprising choices hold becoming created and the predicament may possibly alter."

Alali said she has been attempting to get a ticket for her son on her New York bound flight as a Canadian citizen he is not component of the refugee plan like his mother.

"So far the travel agency has told me that they don't know if he can get a ticket on the similar flight as me," she said. "It's one of the points that are producing me nervous. He has in no way traveled alone just before. I do not know the guidelines. I'm afraid that we will be separated and that he will be questioned in the airport if he's traveling alone -- that they will ask him where his household is and deny him entry."

When once more, Alali's travel to the U.S. has been postponed. She stated the International Organization for Migration had told her to prepare for travel tomorrow, but now the organization informed her that she will not be traveling as planned. IOM declined to comment. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Division told ABC News the division was not capable to offer information on specific resettlement instances to the media.

"The travel was postponed once again till the 21st of this month," she told ABC News in Arabic more than the Venüsbet phone. "Today I spent four to 5 hours waiting in the street outdoors the U.S. Embassy whilst case workers from the International Organization for Migration have been inside attempting to fix the trouble. The U.S. has a list of names of who is capable to travel tomorrow and apparently my name is not on it. My son Mohammad and I had been so pleased since we had been ultimately going to the U.S. We had produced a deal that we had been going to the Pyramids right now. It was going to be our last memory from Egypt. Our bags are prepared. I have ready everything and weighed the bags. Now I'm crying and my son is upset. I do not know if I really should unpack or not. My loved ones in the U.S. had been so delighted and was expecting us. My son was so happy. He's extremely attached to his granddad who's in the U.S. He's like a father to him."

Alali said she had paid around $300 to modify her son's plane ticket just after their scheduled trip on Feb. 9 was cancelled. She has to obtain his plane ticket herself because he's not component of the refugee plan like his mother due to his dual Canadian and Syrian citizenship.

"I don’t know if I should nevertheless send him to the U.S. tomorrow or not," Alali mentioned. "At the moment I can't send him to school here. I took him out of college mainly because I thought we had been leaving and I have to spend to send him back to school and I do not know what to do. If I could be confident that he'd be able to enter the country with no problems I'd do it. But I'm afraid they’ll quit him in the airport and ask him why he's traveling alone and how old he is. I spoke to the travel agency and they told me that the charge for altering the ticket would possibly be larger this time, but that they'll get back to me. My son actually wants to go, but at the very same time he desires to be with me. He's afraid like me. I'm afraid they’ll preserve postponing the travel until the American president will be capable to make a new selection that will stop me from traveling."

Alali was supposed to board a plane headed to the U.S. on Feb. 9. But currently she received a get in touch with from the International Organization for Migration, informing her that she will not be traveling following all.

"They told me that they would call me back with a new date. They postponed my travel. Other individuals will be traveling tomorrow, but not me. They told me that they don’t know why my travel was postponed and that they will call me back soon to set a new date," she told ABC News in Arabic.

Alali's son was born in Canada and is a dual Syrian and Canadian citizen, which means that he is not portion of the refugee system like his mother. Right after Alali learned that she was flying tomorrow, she booked a ticket for her son on the similar flight. Now, she says she does not know if she must let him travel alone.

“I begged them [to let me travel tomorrow] due to the fact I currently booked a ticket for my son. I do not know what to do now. I’m really distressed. I’m afraid that I will not be capable to travel at all. My son is extremely upset. He doesn’t want to leave me.”

Earlier in the day, just before her travel was cancelled, Alali had a meeting with the IOM. She stated she was content but worried -- the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nonetheless hadn’t made a selection on no matter whether President Trump’s travel ban really should be reinstated.

“We have to be at the airport tomorrow at 6 am. And God willing we will depart at ten:30,” she stated following the meeting.

“We are going to New York tomorrow. I’m going to get a suitcase now and then go house. I’ve already weighed my bags so I just want to move items to the new bag and then I’ll be ready. I’m very delighted, but I’m also a small afraid. The court still hasn’t produced a decision. I’m scared that a thing I haven’t anticipated will happen, that the ban will come back into effect. But I’m extremely pleased simply because I’m going to see my brothers that I haven’t seen for about 10 years and my dad who I haven’t observed for pretty much 5 years. My son is also satisfied that he may possibly get a superior life. My dad is content for the reason that he requirements me.”

The selection by a federal judge to spot a short-term restraining order on Trump’s ban has failed to allay Alali’s fears.

"As a single mother without having any sort of assistance, loneliness and fear accompanies me for now, but I still trust the people today and I hope factors will alter for the reason that justice and mercy are what tends to make us humans. I assume this cruel decision will face refusal by the court. But the method will take a extended time. Now, I'm waiting for a get in touch with from IOM [The International Organization for Migration] to set a new date for departure. They promised to do the greatest they could just before 'The Ban' starts after again. So I am in terror of what is subsequent to come."

The International Rescue Committee was assigned Alali’s case in January and is involved in the preparing of her arrival in the U.S. Karen Ferguson, IRC executive director in northern California, told ABC News now:

“This is a excellent example of how timing will ascertain the fate of the unification of this family members. It would never ever have occurred to me that all of a sudden this family’s case would be interrupted. Is not she the exact type of particular person we would want right here? She’s a dentist, she’s a survivor. She ran her own clinic in Syria. She fled terrorism. She has loved ones here who’s prepared to support her. And this is the particular person we’re going to bar?”

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