Former refugee now living in Helena talks about temporary suspen - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Former refugee now living in Helena talks about temporary suspension of Refugee Admissions Program

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Wilmot Collins and his wife fled Liberia after civil war broke out in December of 1989 and now live in Montana. Wilmot Collins and his wife fled Liberia after civil war broke out in December of 1989 and now live in Montana.

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump last week bans all people from certain countries from entering the United States for 90 days.

The text of the order doesn't name the countries, but a White House official said they are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, according to CNN.

The same order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated for nationals of countries that Trump's Cabinet believes can be properly vetted. 

The order has also placed an indefinite ban on those fleeing from the war-torn country of Syria.

Wilmot Collins and his wife Maddie have a unique perspective on the situation.

They fled Liberia after civil war broke out in 1989 and now live in Helena, and are now U.S. citizens.

"Coming here provided me a second chance. A second chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That second chance provided me family," Collins said.

With the executive order President Donald Trump signed on Friday, Collins says we need to learn from history.

"There isn't any evidence of refugees in the United States of America actually committing terrorism acts. When we label refugees as that we are lying to the world. We are lying to the public," Collins said.

Collins says the vetting process for refugees coming in the United States is one of the strongest in the world.

"The process is intense. The process I went through took me two years and seven months to go through," Collins said.

First he had to register with the United Nations which does its own investigation.

"After they have collected all of the necessary identifying documents from you and they deem you credible, they will pass you onto the U.S. government. That is when you have to go through the U.S. government's various checks," Collins said.

Collins says once you get through that process, immigrants then have to go through a culture and orientation process before they can physically enter the country.

"The process we have right now works. When people talk about we need more. We need extreme vetting but what is it. The extreme vetting your talking about it just shutting down the program," Collins said.

Collins says he has been following other refugees, some are shocked and others are scared.

"We need to give refugees credit because when they come to this country they do interact. They are a part of the community and they are a part of the economy," Collins said.

Collins says that even though the vetting process works, there are other programs, such as the Visa Waiver Program, that should be examined as well. 

President Trump's executive order is currently facing several legal challenges.

RELATED: What's Trump done so far? 15 executive actions and what they mean

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