Refugee families in Bowling Green facing separation and uncertain future

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Many of us are looking forward to the new year. For refugees living in Bowling Green and their families, the future is uncertain.

Horedi Mileba escaped tragedy and disaster when he left the Congo. Many of his family members remain in refugee camps overseas.

“My mom, my brother and sisters, they are all in Africa in camp. My uncle is in Africa in camp, my aunties, my cousins. I can say almost all my family is in Africa,” said Mileba.

He’s not alone. An entire room of refugees at the International Center of Kentucky have similar stories.

“It’s very painful and very difficult because I know which kind of life they’re living there in the camp,” Nyota Suleiman.

The Trump Administration has plans to accept 18,000 refugees over the next fiscal year, reducing the cap on all refugee resettlement by 12,000. The Director at the International Center calls it damaging.

“It psychologically destabilizes the families that are here. In a situation like this they spend more time thinking about their relatives they left overseas, than focusing on how to advance themselves and their families here in the United States,” said Albert Mbanfu.

Mbanfu is not the only one speaking out about the issue. A local activist compares it to families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

“Asylum seekers and refugees come from a lot of the same situations. They’re coming from war torn countries and just bloody countries that can not offer them safety any longer, and that’s why they’re reaching out for help,” Francisco Serrano, immigrant rights activist.

For Mileba the new cap means his family remains in trouble.

“We should ask the American government to add more people to come here in America because that is the way to help us,” said Mileba.

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced Kentucky will continue accepting refugees, despite the Trump Administration’s offer to opt-out.