AP PHOTOS: Refugees and their most precious possessions

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2017 11:23 PM
AP PHOTOS: Refugees and their most precious possessions

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A teddy bear. A Bible. A photo of a beloved mother who died years ago.

Refugees live for years out of suitcases in poverty, many envisioning their future in America. They own very little and will bring even less, but everyone has at least one precious item that they were planning to bring to the place they call their "fatherland."

The odds of that happening just dropped precipitously.

President Donald Trump's travel ban "to keep the bad dudes out" aims to stop people from six Muslim countries from entering to the U.S. this year and suspends refugees from arriving for 120 days. But the executive order also includes a sweeping 55 percent reduction in refugee visas overall, from a planned 110,000 to 50,000 this year. This means, across the board, 60,000 refugee visas would not be issued after all. Trump's executive order had been set to take effect Thursday, but a federal judge put it on hold hours before it was to take effect.

An Associated Press analysis of 10 years of refugee data finds the most impacted group are persecuted Burmese refugees, thousands of whom are persecuted in their home country because of their religion, brought to them decades ago by American missionaries. They're Christians.