Reuniting Refugee Families

Since 2018, Michael Bacuth has had one goal. Rescue his niece.

Michael is a refugee from Sudan, having come to the U.S. to escape the kind of violence that took the lives of his brother and sister-in-law. Thankfully, his niece survived and turned up in an Egyptian refugee camp five years later.

“I need to bring her here because she’s a little girl,” Bacuth says. “Nobody is with her. That’s why I need help. … We’re waiting for anybody to help us.”

For years, it’s been almost impossible for Michael to bring his orphaned niece to the U.S. But with the change in administration, there was hope that things would change.

“I think probably the most optimistic anticipation was that within the first week or two we’d see a dramatic reveal on the refugee program,” says Mark Finney, director of World Relief Spokane, the local refugee settlement organization where Michael lives.

After President Biden signaled forthcoming refugee-policy changes in February, confidence was so high among some local refugees’ family members, that flights were actually scheduled.

But it’s April, and Biden still hasn’t signed a Presidential Determination that would allow the already vetted refugees to travel.

“We’ve had families whose relatives have been booked to be reunited with them in March of this year,” Finney says. “But because the Biden administration hasn’t acted yet, those bookings were canceled. And they don’t know when they’re going to see their loved ones again.

Thank you to Inlander for sharing this story from World Relief.

You can visit our friends at We Welcome Refugees to sign a petition urging President Biden to keep his promise and allows refugees like Michael’s niece to be reunited with their families.