SAN ANTONIO - Texas has been a very welcoming state for refugees in past years. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 88,000 refugees have resettled in Texas since 2002, second only to California. Last year, Texas welcomed 2,500, the highest in the country.
- Refugee resettlement executive order blocked by courts
- Local refugees still paying attention to what happens next
The Trump administration announced in November that resettlement agencies must get written consent from governing officials in any jurisdiction where they want to place refugees.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott received widespread criticism after he announced last week he would be the first and only governor to reject refugees.
Now, a federal judge is blocking the Trump administration's executive order that allowed the rejection.
Even though the executive order has been blocked, many refugees already in the state say they are nervous.
Douraid Abdulmajeed is originally from Iraq, but since 2015 he, his wife, and their two children have made a life in San Antonio.
From parasailing in South Padre, to finding his children good schools, he says life has been good.
"One hundred percent. I’m not leaving San Antonio. I love the diversity here, I don’t feel like I’m a stranger," he said.
In 2003, Abdulmajeed was a student studying in Yemen where he met his wife. The two decided it would be too dangerous for them to return to Iraq because he is a Sunni Muslims and she isn’t Iraqi.
Instead, Abdulmajeed and his wife moved to Mylasia.
"This is where everything kind of shifted for us. She cannot go back to Iraq with me because she is not Iraqi and I cannot go back to Yemen because I’m not Yemeni and both countries were at a state of war," he said.
They applied through the United Nations in Malaysia to come to the United States. That’s when Catholic Charities in San Antonio got involved.
"I love it. The system, everything is organized unlike the places we’ve been to. There’s not a day that passes by that you don’t have food on your table or you don’t have clothes that you can wear," he said.
Despite all the new freedoms of America, Abdulmajeed says recent headlines don't sit well.
"Governors or people who are making these decisions, they don’t know— or don’t know how hard or how much we suffer in getting to a place where we can at least have our voices reached or just live as normal people. I’m hoping this voice will change something. I pray to God for that to happen," he said.