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Thursday, May 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Iraqi refugees arrive to cheers at Portland airport

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 6, 2017, 4:34 p.m.

In a Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 photo, a young Iraqi couple and their three daughters are welcomed by about 100 people when they land at Portland International Airport. They are the first refugees to enter Oregon since the controversial travel ban was rescinded by a federal judge last week. (Mark Graves / AP)
In a Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 photo, a young Iraqi couple and their three daughters are welcomed by about 100 people when they land at Portland International Airport. They are the first refugees to enter Oregon since the controversial travel ban was rescinded by a federal judge last week. (Mark Graves / AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Welcoming cheers greeted the first refugees to land at Portland International Airport since President Trump’s travel ban was rescinded by a federal judge.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Mustapha Mohamed arrived Sunday night with his wife and three daughters.

The former interpreter for U.S. military in Iraq waited four years to get a visa that would allow him and his family to relocate. They were supposed to arrive last week before getting blocked by the executive order that temporarily banned visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The boisterous crowd of about 100 people shouted “Welcome” and “We love you” as the family came into view. Mohamed said “thank you,” repeatedly.

Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman was among those greeting the family. He said new immigrants can be easy prey for con artists and the department tries to inform them about local ways.

Marshman said he also wanted to reach out “cop to cop” to Mohamed, who was a member of Iraqi security forces.

Catholic Charities of Portland played a role in getting the family to Oregon. The organization feared its work was in vain after Trump signed the executive order on Jan. 27.

“It took a very bold judge in Seattle to make this happen,” said Richard Birkel, Catholic Charities’ executive director in Portland.

That judge, U.S. District Judge James Robart, issued a temporary order Friday banning enforcement of the travel ban. The U.S. Justice Department’s request to set aside the judge’s order was denied early Sunday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 9th Circuit ordered the Justice Department to file briefs by 6 p.m. EST Monday.

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