Daughter separated from family because of travel ban reunited with loved ones


Tana Cleveland

For seven years Abdalla, tried to get access to enter the United States legally with his family; he made the decision after his 11-year-old daughter was by herself at their house and was violently raped and then shot in between the eyes. Abdalla didn’t want to put his family in this danger again and immediately applied for screening and interviews. After seven years, they finally got a call that said they could come to the U.S.

Batulo, Abdalla’s daughter, was not considered a dependent minor by the time the family was cleared – her case was separated from her families. Batulo was told by officials that she would soon be able to travel on her own, and so Abdalla moved his family of two daughters, three sons, and a niece and nephew he’d been raising for a decade, to America. They were eagerly awaiting Batulo’s arrival in early February. Then they turned on the news and listened in horror as the travel ban was passed, closing off all immigrant access into the United States for four months. Batulo was stuck in Somalia alone without her family and without any support at all.  

Finally, after weeks of waiting, a new flight was scheduled and Batulo made her way from the refugee camp she had been living in to America, where she has been reunited with her family.