Tesfahiwet’s Father’s Day
On June 20th, it was both World Refugee Day and Father’s Day and for many families it was a time to come together to celebrate. For Tesfahiwet, a refugee from Eritrea, this Father’s Day was an especially happy one because he was recently reunited with his two sons.
Since leaving his wife and two sons behind in Eritrea, Tesfahiwet has been focused on arranging to have them join him here. He was successfully resettled, employed, and self-sufficient in Seattle, but he greatest hope was to have his family together again. He arrived in August 2008 and came to the IRC to file the required petitions. Unfortunately, he didn’t have all the necessary documents and, in the meantime, his family also fled Eritrea for Sudan. Tesfahiwet regularly sent money to support his family while he navigated the US regulations for bringing his family here with the help of the IRC.
The IRC assisted him in filing applications with the best available documents and petitioned the US authorities to exercise their discretion to approve the family to join him here. The petitions were initially denied, but the IRC successfully reopened the cases. Following DNA testing to confirm relationship, they were all approved. The files were transferred to the Sudan office for final processing.
On May 26, 2010, Tesfahiwet welcomed his wife and sons to the U.S. The entire process took almost one and a half years, but Tesfahiwet is looking forward to many more Father’s Day family celebrations. He is working hard and using what spare time he has to teach his family English. He is very grateful to the IRC and the U.S. government for its help in reuniting and resettling his family.
Return to the IRC in Seattle