Syrian couple struggles to enter US together

World Today

Syrian couple struggles to enter US together

The U.S. entry freeze ordered by President Donald Trump has fostered both praise and condemnation from the American public. But what is happening to the people directly effected by this executive order?

CGTN’s Alaa Ebrahim reports.

Syrian couple struggles to enter US together

Syrian couple struggles to enter US together

The U.S. entry freeze ordered by President Donald Trump has fostered both praise and condemnation from the American public. But what is happening to the people directly effected by this executive order? CGTN's Alaa Ebrahim reports.
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Like any other couple, Conan and Marwa spend their nights in their Damascus house watching the news. But unlike many other Syrians, the news could be life-altering for this small family.

The couple married nearly two years ago, and then started a long process to get a U.S. visa for Conan, where he and his American wife were hoping to start a new life away from war.

After a vetting process that took more than a year, Conan got his CR1 visa. Then, a mistake held him up. “I finally got the visa, but I found out that it said February 2016 instead of Feb 2017, as an expiration date. So I sent the passport back and this typo set us back a month or two. Otherwise, we would have been there,” he said.

The White House order, banning citizens from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., a 90-day left the Takkieddin family stranded. Marwa didn’t consider it a ban against Muslims. “I don’t if it is a Muslim ban, because I know a lot of Syrian Christians are facing the same problems that Syrian Muslims are facing,” she said.

The couple used their last piece of wood to keep warm. They didn’t stock up for a long winter, because they thought they would be heading to the U.S. in a couple of weeks.

For a Syrian refugee, the U.S. is definitely not a realistic choice. The process to accept refugees could take up to two years and entering America illegally costs five times more than it does to enter Germany. So, for the majority of those fleeing the country, the new ban won’t change much.

Marwa went online, checking for news from her lawyer or the airline that already cancelled their tickets to Logan International Airport in Boston. But there was nothing.

Recent events put strain not just on their plans, but also on the way Marwa saw herself and her country — the proud Boston girl who displays her affection for her city.

Marwa and Conan strolled through the cold streets of Damascus — an American and her Syrian husband who can’t get to a country they call home.