For all of modern history, America has had an immigration policy that is based largely on family reunification. It’s a policy that says we as a nation value families being together and staying together. However, proposed policy changes under the misnomer of ending “chain migration” have come into play; this marks a potential end to family based migration and ultimately to family reunification.
This has a serious impact on families, like that of Najeeba. Originally from Baghdad, Iraq, Najeeba and her 10 children were forced to flee due to increasing violence in the area. After some of her children left for the United States and Canada, Najeeba relocated to Syria. Unfortunately, in 2014 ISIS took control of Mosul, where Najeeba was living at the time, forcing her to uproot yet again for a refugee camp and from there onto Jordan. After decades of relocating and separation, in 2015 she registered with UNHCR as a refugee.
Finally, on February 7th, after years of waiting to reunite with her children, Najeeba came home, welcomed by USCRI Detroit and her sons, their wives, grandchildren, and other relatives. Surrounded by love and tears of happiness, the scene was one of indescribable joy. She had not seen her oldest son, Khalid, for 38 years, and without family reunification she may never have seen him again. She may never have had the opportunity to meet her grandchildren.
With new policies set in place by the Administration, adult children would not be able to bring their parents to the United States, making a reunion like this impossible. So while Najeeba’s long awaited reunion with her family in a story of hope, it is also an important reminder of what so-called “chain migration” really is. It is an American value and it is family.
Read more stories of hope like Najeeba’s here.