SCRANTON -- The fear of the unknown: that is how one refugee describes President Donald Trump's ban on Syrian refugees and citizens from six other Middle Eastern countries. Fred Ushu spent 13 years in refugee camps in war-torn Congo before coming to the United States.
Congo is not on the list of banned countries, however Ushu, who now lives in Scranton, is concerned for his friends and family who may be turned away in the future.
“The whole thing should be looked at as a humanitarian assistance. The UN calls it a durable solution because it is indeed a durable solution. Those who come are really victims,” Ushu told Newswatch 16.
Bob Curry works with people from many different backgrounds at the Hazleton Integration Project. Curry says accepting people from other countries is what already makes America great.
"We've been able to bring all these diverse groups into our country, bring their cultures and their strengths, and proceed as a single unified nation,” said Bob Curry of the Hazleton Integration Project.
Newswatch 16 spoke with people in Hazleton who support the executive order and those who didn’t.
“Take care of our own first then take care of others. It's just like when a plane goes down in crash mode, first you have to put on your mask to help your child. I believe the same thing,” said Lou Colon of Hazleton.
“We have a great deal to do with what happened in the Middle East. We have to do our best to bring some help to those people,” said Wayne Roache of Hazleton.
Ushu says he still has friends and family in refugee camps. He hopes the ban will not be expanded and, ultimately, will be short-lived.
“We are all people. We are all human race, and we all need to be treated equal, not just because of our religious backgrounds,” said Ushu.
Catholic Social Services of Scranton has run a program to help refugees from Syria. It is unclear on how the organization will handle this new ban.