A Syrian Christian family that was deported after the implementation of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban was finally reunited with their American relatives in an emotional moment at John F. Kennedy airport.
On Monday morning, Sarmad Assali was finally able to embrace her Syrian relatives after they were denied entry into the United States due to Trump's travel ban. The family had to wait almost 15 years for the tearful reunion, which was pushed back for nine days when the Syrian immigrants were detained and deported when they first arrived on Jan. 28, CNN details.
Assali's relatives were able to return to the United States legally after a federal judge temporarily lifted Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. She had also filed a lawsuit to fight for her Syrian family members' return and to have the government shoulder the expenses of the trip back to the U.S.
"They're in disbelief that they're here," said Assali after their relatives were finally able to enter the U.S. legally. "Even though the whole way they had a feeling something was going to happen, now they are finally here and just in awe."
In addition, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf joined Assali and her relatives for lunch. In a statement on Twitter, he expressed his delight at the Syrian family's reunion after what they went through because of the implementation of Trump's new refugee policy.
Assali had earlier told NBC10 that she understands President Trump's aim to make America safer. However, she also said they need to be there for their relatives who are looking forward to be resettled in the U.S.
Ghassan Assali, Sarmad's husband, earlier decried Trump's executive order. He compared America to the Islamic State, which asks people about their religious beliefs and kills them if one's faith does not align with theirs. For him, the situation is pretty much the same in the U.S. because people are being asked if they are Muslim and are allegedly telling people to change their religion if they follow Islam.