Sixteen Ukrainian refugees who were scheduled to fly to Portland for resettlement are now stuck at the airport in Ukraine, after President Trump's executive order Friday banned refugees from entering the country.
That brings to 46 the minimum number of refugees scheduled to arrive in Oregon within the next four weeks.
The Ukrainians, a family of five and another family of 11, were fleeing the country to rejoin other family members who had already immigrated to Portland.
"They were all ready to come, had sold all their possessions, everything," says Howard Kenyon of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, a charitable organization that helps resettle refugees.
But when the families arrived at the airport, the ban had just gone into effect. The U.S. immigration papers they were scheduled to receive were denied to them, and now they are stranded.
"They're basically homeless in the Ukraine now," Kenyon says. "With refugees, what is there to go back to? There's nothing."