Local Refugee sponsorship group baffled by lack of progress

Local Refugee sponsorship group baffled by lack of progress
Two of Wahib Alali’s three children, all of whom have lived their entire lives in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. (Photo : Sally Meyer)

By Gordon Lambie
When it comes to matters of immigration, many people across Canada are thinking about special measures for refugees from Ukraine right now. For a small group in Hemmingford, however, the focus has been and remains to be the Alali family, a group of Syrian refugees they have been trying to sponsor since 2018.
“Everything is more than ready, but the family is still waiting,” said Sally Meyer, who is serving as the group’s spokesperson, sharing that although things were looking hopeful at the end of last year, there has been no movement in the months since for no reason that anyone can understand. “In November I received a request for our Covid plan, and in that request it said folks would be arriving within weeks. There was no date, but it was sort of like we could prepare for the arrival of the sponsored family.”

That request, she noted, came after the family, who are currently living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, received a call confirming that they did still want to go through with the immigration process and giving them assurances that the process was still moving forward. The plan was submitted in January and acknowledged, but after that neither the local team looking to sponsor nor the family waiting in Jordan has received any news other than encouragement to “be patient.”
“These people have already been patient,” Meyer said, pointing out that those family members who were not born in the Jordanian refugee camp where they currently live have been there since 2013. “There have been so many interruptions for them.”
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