Louisville woman from Somalia worries about her family's safety - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville woman from Somalia worries about her family's safety amid President Trump's immigration ban

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Hodan Shelikhali Hodan Shelikhali

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Locally, President Donald Trump executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days is being met with both praise and criticism.

A rally at the Muhammad Ali Center on Monday night was a show of support for local immigrants, especially those with loved ones who are locked out of the United States.

Hodan Shelikhali is one of those immigrants. She left Somalia years ago, hoping to find and live the American dream.

"I left there to come here so I can get a better life," she said. "I've been here 11 years."

Since then, Shelikhali has become a U.S. Citizen, brought her mother to the country and started saving to do the same for teenage siblings. But this is where you could say that dream become a nightmare.

The Shelikhali family lives in State Representative McKenzie Cantrell's district, and now she's working to try to help them reconnect.

"They were in the airport in Ethiopia with a Visa to enter the United States," Cantrell said. "They were stopped at the airport and unable to board their flight because of the Trump executive order."

The order prevents people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. President Trump says the move will improve security in the U.S.

Jim Stansbury, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, says he supports the president's decision, but he also understands the concern and protests.

"The president is expected to protect the people of the United States, and that's what this order is doing," Stansbury said. " [But] I'm OK with peaceful protest ... I believe that refugees need to be protected and need to have safe havens."

Meanwhile, Shelikhali believes she will eventually see her family members, but she worries how they'll survive until that happens.

"They're kind of like homeless now," she said.

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