Colorado-Bound Refugees Held Back By Trump Executive Order

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Photo: Trump explains refugee order
President Donald Trump, left, with Defense Secretary James Mattis, right, explains the executive action on extreme vetting that he signed at the Pentagon in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017.

More than 50 people who were scheduled to arrive in Colorado this week as refugees will be delayed by President Donald Trump's executive order placing a 120-day moratorium on their entries into the country. Overall, the state figures to receive about half the refugees it planned to accept this year.

Most of the refugees -- about 75 percent -- who come to Colorado have family ties here, according to state refugee coordinator Kit Taintor. Those who were scheduled to arrive this week included large families and individuals. They had been accepted by one of several Colorado social service agencies that provides services, including housing arrangements and health care, English language classes and job training.

Trump signed the executive order last week. It calls for a 120-day moratorium on refugee arrivals from all countries, a 90-day ban on entry for all citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and an indefinite ban on arrivals from Syria. The president said the plan would ensure U.S. security and vetting procedures are tough enough to keep terrorists out of the country. Colorado's congressional delegation gave the order mixed reviews. Republican Ken Buck of Greeley said in a statement that "our country has always offered hope for the oppressed and homeless, but hope also requires safety and security. We should not let people into this country unless we can thoroughly vet them."

Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel spoke with Colorado refugee coordinator Kit Taintor.