BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Loud protests like the one at BWI airport last week, opposing the president’s travel ban, were eclipsed by the ruling of one federal judge last week.
That re-opens the door to refugees being aided by local relief groups, scrambling to get those already approved for entry into the U.S.
“It’s extreme enough,” Bill O’Keefe, of Catholic Relief Services, says of the vetting process. “Eighteen to 24 month process involving 13 federal agencies, and the refugees are the most vetted group of people coming into this country. More than any other category.”
The worry is that the door could slam shut with the next court ruling.
“We in the faith-based community condemn any attempt to pause the U.S. refugees mission program,” says Nina Zelic, of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
And organizations want certainty where there is none at present, and welcome at least one fallback plan.
“Clearly the president’s executive order we believe, is against our national interest,” Maryland Senator Ben Cardin said Monday. “We have Republicans who we believe will join us in some of these issues. So we’re going to try to find the most effective way to bring about change.”
That is, depending on what happens in court to one of the president’s strongest campaign pledges.
A poll conducted by CBS finds supporters and opponents of the travel order are just about evenly split on the issue.