As President Donald Trump this week moved forward with his campaign promises to restrict immigration, those in Atlanta's refugee community are bracing for any executive actions that would ban refugees from resettling in the United States.
According to multiple media reports, Trump is expected to sign an order that would stop the resettlement of refugees from Syria indefinitely and pause total resettlement from other countries for at least 120 days. The order would also pause the issuance of visas from several Muslim-majority nations.
Lukman and his daughter Areen, who asked that only their first names be used, came to the U.S. as refugees about five months ago with the rest of their family.
Lukman said he left behind everything he had in Syria, including his manufacturing business, because of the violence. When he heard that Trump could sign an order stopping Syrian refugees resettling into the United States, he said he was shocked.
"We lost our country, and it was a very nice country, but I think that we are losing the United States also," Lukman said through an interpreter in Arabic.
He said he's concerned about his family members who are still abroad, including his son-in-law, Areen's husband. Areen was pregnant when she came to the United States, and gave birth to a baby boy 10 days ago.
"I'm very worried," she said through an interpreter. She said she didn't know what to do if the ban on Syrian refugees was implemented.
In fiscal year 2016, 3,017 refugees were resettled in Georgia.
"Clients and staff have a lot of questions and anxiety about what's going to happen in the very near future and about the long-term prospects of ever seeing their family again," said J.D. McCrary, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta.
According to news reports, Trump is expected to sign an executive order on refugees and visas this week.