N.H. Refugee Groups Hurry to Book Flights As Trump's Ban Put on Hold

Feb 6, 2017

A family from Bhutan greets newly resettled family members at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in November, 2016.
Credit Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

New Hampshire’s refugee resettlement agencies are moving fast to bring at least six refugees to the state before February 17th. That’s after a Federal Judge on Friday blocked parts of a Trump Administration executive order, including a 120-day ban on refugee admissions, and an indefinite ban on all immigration from Syria.

On Saturday, State Department instructed the UN agency overseeing refugees to rebook flights for those affected by Trump’s travel ban within an eleven-day window.

The International Institute of New England, which coordinates refugee resettlement in Manchester plans to bring a dozen people into Manchester airport, with an individual from Bhutan staying in Manchester, and others, including four Syrians, resettling in Lowell, Mass.

The final booking decisions are up to an agency within the United Nations, said Jeffrey Thielman, who heads up the IINE headquarters, in Boston. “Our staff is standing by ready to get to work to receive them and get apartments ready for them, ” Thielman said.

Ascentria oversees refugee resettlement in Concord and Nashua. Amy Marchildon, Director of Services for Ascentria, said she hopes to place 5 people from the Congo and Myanmar in Nashua, and Concord, respectively.