Two Syrian refugees arrived last night at the Eugene Airport. The women are mother and stepmother to a pair of brothers who already live here.
The women have been living in Turkey for nearly 4 years after fleeing violence in Syria. Tom Mulhern is with Catholic Community Services, part of the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County.
Mulhurn: “Well, it was just a very touching, very gratifying, just a real heart-warming scene at the airport when they were able to get back together.”
Mulhern says it was especially sweet to see the women greet their grandchildren. He says volunteers gathered food and other supplies for the women to help in their transition. Others will help them learn English and adjust to life in the U.S.
There is another brother who is living as a refugee with his family in Turkey but they’re still waiting on visas in order to come here.
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, there has been a slowdown in the flow of refugees into the United States. The government has set an annual cap of 45,000 but Mulhern says there’ve been just over 10,000 this year.