President Trump's new travel restrictions worry Kentuckiana immigrants

New travel ban impacts Louisville immigrants

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – President Donald Trump is revising his travel ban, suspending entry to immigrants into the U.S. from specific countries. 

Those new restrictions causing more turbulence among Louisvillians who have family still overseas.

The Americana Community Center in South Louisville serves more than 5,000 immigrants representing 101 countries.

"Some of them are waiting for grandparents, or aunts and uncles to be together again and now that will be impossible," Executive Director Edgardo Mansilla said.

He tells WHAS11 News President Donald Trump's new travel restrictions is causing some unsettling emotions at the center.

"This is producing despair, depression, a lack of hope, a sense that oh, I don't belong here even though I have kids going to college here."

The new restrictions affect the countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants from some of these countries will be suspended, along with those on business and tourist visas and other circumstances. 

"I think that we can keep national security very high and at the same time, open the door to some families to reconnect," Mansilla stated.

Six of President Trump's targeted countries are Muslim, but unlike the earlier ban, which temporarily limited travel for 90 days, the new restrictions are indefinite and conditioned based. 

It also allows officers the discretion to waive the restrictions on a case by case basis.

"Understand that we are Louisville too – that we are a part of this society," he said.

As an immigrant from Argentina, Mansllia has spent more than 20 years in the U.S. and he hopes that acceptance of all people remains the central focus from the nation's top leaders. 

Americana has a partnership with Spalding University's School of Psychology to help refugee families deal with the emotion of not knowing when they'll see their loved ones.

The new travel restrictions take effect Oct. 18.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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