President Donald Trump's order to suspend refugee resettlement - as well as his directive to refuse entry into the USA from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - has prompted global outcry and domestic protests, the likes of which haven't been seen in decades.
According to a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 800 refugees were set to make America their new home this week alone, but instead find themselves barred from travelling to the US.
UNHCR estimates, based on average monthly figures for the last 15 years, that 20,000 refugees in precarious circumstances might have been resettled to the USA during the 120 days covered by the Order.
UNHCR spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci rejected assertions that Syrian refugees are terrorists.
He said the move was to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
"My family and I went for several interviews in 2016 and we were told that we had been shortlisted... this decision is killing our hopes... we've already given up hope of going back home", he said.
The issue of refugees from the crisis-torn Syria has become actual due to the ongoing civil war in the Middle Eastern country. "Admitting Syrian refugees at this time, without the ability to properly vet them, unnecessarily places national security and American lives at risk".
The executive order will prevent refugees from escaping some of most violent regimes in the world.
Then, after screening individuals for security concerns - people who were involved in armed hostilities are screened out, for example - UNHCR refers some cases to potential resettlement countries.
More than 600 refugees fleeing violence and persecution have been resettled in Texas since January 1., and refugee resettlement agencies were expecting to help thousands more start new lives in the state this year.
"Many of my friends and relatives have already been resettled in the U.S. and other countries such as Canada..." During the height of the Vietnam War, the United States took in many more refugees, around 200,000 a year.
She told VOA that refugees undergo a very rigorous screening process before they are admitted to the US for resettlement.
"This act would bar Syrian refugees, and refugees from other nationalities, from taking refuge in the land that was built on the premise of being open to people who are fleeing persecution and violence", the statement added. The organization provides refugee resettlement services among others.
On average, said Beuze, it takes two years for a refugee to be granted admission to the USA after UNHCR refers the case. And it caps the total number of refugees eligible for resettlement to 50,000 this year.
"It is with a heavy heart and sombre mind that we remember and honour the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust", the statement said.