Rachel Adrian is due to have her first baby any day now, and she can’t believe it — not that she’s about to become a mother, but that her husband might miss their big moment.
Her husband, Hoger Ameen, a Sunni Muslim Kurd from northern Iraq, was working on getting a visa when the Trump administration’s order banning entry into the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq, took effect Friday.
Now? “Everything has been put on hold,” Adrian, who lives in St. Joseph, told the Los Angeles Times.
“We’re trying to do everything the legal way. We believe in the process. We believe people should get vetted and Americans should be safe. People that say immigrants and refugees don’t get vetted, they don’t understand.”
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She tweeted her frustration on Sunday.
“As soon as we heard the news about the ban, all of our hope was gone,” Ameen told People in an email from northern Iraq. “I don’t know when I’ll get to meet my son, and I’m afraid that when I do get to meet him, he won’t know who I am.”
Adrian, who is a registered nurse, told People that she met the telecommunications specialist three years ago after moving to Iraq to do relief work.
The couple, both 29, met at an interdenominational church and married a year later, she said. They lived in Iraq before he began the process to get a spousal visa in November 2014.
Ameen finished the paperwork, had the necessary medical exams, submitted tax forms and found a sponsor, she told People. He was supposed to join her in Missouri soon; she moved back to her hometown of St. Joseph last summer.
“We were told in December that we are in the last steps of the processing. We were so excited because the process is tedious and long. There are many hoops to jump through and processes designed to keep America safe,” Ameen told People. “We’re applying for a family visa.”
But he’s not coming now.
Adrian told the Times that her husband received an email on Satureday from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that said visas for natives of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen have been suspended until further notice.
“I have no idea when he’ll get to meet his son. And that’s really sad,” Adrian told the Times.
One thing they do know: their son’s name.
He will be called Aland, “a Kurdish name, but it kind of sounds American,” Adrian told the Times.