- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The first group of refugees has arrived in Tulsa since a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees.

Don Vung, 42, of Myanmar arrived in Tulsa Tuesday night with her three daughters and her mother Thang Dim, 72, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2lL8bno ) reported.

Vung had planned to come to the United States for years to join her brother and his family, but the those plans were put on hold when Trump issued his executive order that also banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

It had been around 15 years since the siblings had seen each other. Vung plans to get a job, spend time with family and enroll her children in school.

Fourteen Russian refugees also arrived Tuesday night. Nine more Burmese refugees are expected to arrive in Tulsa on Friday.

Members of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Tulsa help the U.S. State Department resettle refugees. The group provides help with housing, transportation, health screenings, school enrollment and cultural orientation.

“Sometimes we just hear the negative piece of, ‘If they are coming here, why can’t somebody take care of them? Why does the government have to help?’” said David Hamel, programs director of Catholic Charities. “And we just say there’s room for everybody.”

When refugee groups arrive in Tulsa, Catholic Charities greets them at the airport and takes them to their new apartment, where they can enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Hamel said the refugees also attend a two-day cultural orientation session, where the group helps them learn American cultures, laws and customs.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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