UPDATE: Refugee family safely arrives in Darien

In a testament to just how much the Darien community cares about the welfare of those around them not just locally, but in the world, the Darien Times has received numerous phone calls, emails, and tweets asking about the well-being of the Syrian refugee family received by St. Luke’s Parish.

The last few days have been filled with turmoil and questions about just what the future holds for refugees and those who wish to find safety and a better life in the United States.

Amy Rebechi, one of the leaders of the group from St. Luke’s Parish that worked with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, got an update from IRIS as to the current state of affairs. The executive order from President Donald Trump halts the flow of refugees from Syria indefinitely, along with bans from other Muslim-majority nations. IRIS was unable to comment on the status of any future refugees or efforts from local groups that had not yet brought a family to the United States.

The family sponsored by St. Luke’s was able to make it into the country prior to the executive order being signed. According to Rebechi, “they’re here, they’re safe. They’ve been to DSF, social security, and they will receive their benefits.” Rebechi said she does not see that situation changing, but the chaos caused by the executive order means that nothing is definite. Rebechi added that, “They are lucky to be in Connecticut. Our state has a great history of helping refugees.”

Rebechi became emotional as she was informed about the calls and emails asking about the safety of this refugee family. “We really just want to thank everyone in the community who has helped,” said Rebechi. Donations to help the family have come not just from Darien, but from across the country, with aid coming from as far as California. “This family is so awesome and so full of love,” said Rebechi through tears.

Similar efforts by groups at Noroton Presbyterian as well as in neighboring New Canaan have been completely halted by the executive order. It is unknown exactly what may come of those groups attempts to help refugee families into the country.

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