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Story of Remel & Rewa

Iraq (Chaldean & Assyrian)

Chaldean-Assyrians, also known as Syriac Christians have had to flee Iraq as they have been targeted over the past few decades for their ethnicity (neither Kurdish nor Arab) and religion.

However, rising anti-immigrant sentiments in the West have separated more recent Chaldean-Assyrian refugees from their relatives in the diaspora, with many families waiting for years or risking their savings and lives in-order to reunite.

Remel's aunt Reva fled Iraq in 2000 when her brother was going to be conscripted into Saddam Hussein's army.

Reva's family traveled to Jordan but eventually reached the Unites states and decided to settle down in #Michigan. She initially worked 10 hour days to pay off her debts, including her plane tickets.

Remel's immediate family stayed in Iraq longer. They lost two people when the United States occupied Iraq. He finally fled with his parents and siblings in 2016 after Islamic State conquered much of Iraq, as he was extremely vocal on his opinions about minority rights and that put his life in danger.

Despite the Trump administration advocating that they would protect Middle Eastern minorities, it has reduced the number of refugees the U.S. admits to historic lows. President Trump has also attacked Chain migration. Chain Migration is the form of family migration which allows families to be together.

Even though, the administration removed Iraq from its controversial travel ban, Immigration and Customs Enforcement went after Chaldean-Assyrian and Kurdish communities across the United States.

His family is looking to move to Canada, a common alternative while Reva believes their chances are better there, the bureaucracy is quite complex there as well.

Photo © Reuters/Mohamed Azakir

Story of Remel & Rewa
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