After Trump's ban, Amarillo refugees gain national attention

Feb 13, 2017

A wall showing Bible verses inside a community center for refugees at the Astoria Park Apartments in Amarillo, Texas.
Credit Holly Bailey / Yahoo News

Amarillo saw something of the national spotlight in the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

A Yahoo News story noted that Amarillo has long been a safe haven for refugees. For the last several years, Texas has led the United States in refugee resettlement and Amarillo accepts more refugees per capita than any other city in the state. Amarillo has, for the most part, provided a welcome home to these settlers fleeing terror in their homelands.

The Yahoo story focused on one local volunteer, Evelyn Lyles, a retired schoolteacher who devotes long days to helping families from places like Burma, Somalia and Iraq make a new life on the windswept plains of Texas. But, Trump’s recent travel ban has wreaked havoc on these potential newcomers. Dozens remain in limbo.

After years of background checks, one Burmese mother of an 18-month-old boy was the last admitted before the ban took effect. The child has now been estranged from its father.