A Syrian family whose trip to visit relatives in Pennsylvania turned into a nightmarish journey after President Donald Trump enacted a travel ban for immigrants and refugees has received a congratulatory welcome from the Keystone State's governor.
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, says he'll personally pay the $20,000 airfare tab the family racked up when they had to make a trip to Syria after being denied entry at Philadelphia International Airport.
"You've been through a lot. It's nice to have you here. Thank you for wanting to come to Pennsylvania," Wolf told the six-member Assali family on Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
It was the family's second attempt to get to Allentown after brothers Basam and Hassan Assali; their wives, Jozfin and Jurfeet; and Hassan's two kids were turned away, despite their valid visas. After a return to Syria, they tried again via Beirut, Abu Dhabi, New York and finally Pennsylvania.
Allentown resident Sarmad Assali, who nervously watched her relatives' grueling drama unfold, told the Inquirer: "Last week, I was angry and I was depressed … But you know what? Today the dream came true."
Trump's ban of seven majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — was overturned by a judge and is now under appeal.
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