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In An Uncertain Immigration Climate, A Refugee Camp Struggles Onward

Meanwhile, Khan has observed both the United States and Europe try to grapple with the crisis. He has few kind words for the EU, which he insists has “been a disaster, writing checks to ineffective international NGOs knowing very well they are unable to improve conditions on the ground.” But when I reach out to him after Trump signed his executive order on immigration last week, Khan is markedly more incensed. The order is “insane,” making organizations like Elpida responsible for people that, in some cases, the government owes for their service as interpreters or fixers in the armed forces.

Khan points out that most of our representatives and government officials have never spent time working in war zones. “They have no idea what the cries sound like,” he wrote in an email to me late last week. “We spend every day dealing with lives that have been completely destroyed. Their stories are worse than any horror movie.” And while he understands that our immigration policies need work, he suggests that “barring Syrian refugees who are innocent victims” from the United States “is perhaps the worst solution anyone could ever come up with.”

Over the weekend, judges James L. Robart, who presides in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington State, halted the travel ban Trump issued on January 27. Since the decision, refugees in limbo have scrambled to enter the United States before the administration appeals to have it reinstated. This afternoon, a federal court will hear lawyers for the Trump administration make a case for the ban. And while the judges weigh it on its merits, Khan would like to extend a personal invitation to the president himself. “I invite him to come spend a couple days in camps around the entire region. Human beings who have been through unimaginable destruction are now living in inhumane conditions that defy description. We as human beings have to do better for them.”

Source: Elle Magazine

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