Travel Ban Almost Shatters Dreams of Md. Family

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It was a family reunion eight years in the making, but with the stroke of a pen on an executive order, those dreams were shattered for one Maryland family.

Marcus Washington has more on the emotion roller coaster for a Maryland family during and after the president’s travel ban.

There is nothing more important to Salwa Tabiedi  than her family. You can imagine the joy she has to have her son, Hussam Elagabani, with her in Prince George’s County with the rest of the family.

For days, she thought the reunion would never happen. An executive order signed by President Trump that blocked refugees and travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S., included Sudan, where her son Hussam lived.

“Building like a high-rise building for years and suddenly everything collapsed. I didn’t get any sleep,” Tabiedi said.

For days with the travel ban implemented, thousands of family across the county were affected. Tabiedi reached out for help.

“In fact I contacted our senator, Senator Chris Van Hollen,” she said.

Senator Van Hollen spoke with WJZ about the 50 plus calls from Marylanders impacted by the travel ban and his stance against the executive order.

“Which is why you have people like Sen. McCain and Sen. Lindsey Grahams, and other senators saying, this doesn’t help our security, it hurts our security,” Van Hollen said.

Once the travel ban was block by a federal judge, Hassum had 24 hours to get on plane, in fear his window to reunite with family would soon shut.

His sister Amael Agabani, helped translate what he was experiencing.

“He was in a state of shock, but he kept focusing one step at a time. Once that step was done, he was trying to do the next step, but every step he had that fear he would not make it,” she said.

He did make it, with two bags holding everything he had time to grab within 24 hours. He now starts his new life, but not alone. A life that now includes his entire family.

The State Department says there were 60,000 people impacted by the president’s travel ban.

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