DENVER -- Refugees settling in Colorado were welcomed by the governor at Union Station on Wednesday. Some of them, caught up in President Donald Trump's travel ban, quickly made their way to Colorado after the ban was lifted.
The welcoming reception was the first of its kind in Colorado. The event was organized by the state to make refugees feel welcome in response to the Trump administration's immigration policies.
Refugees with big smiles stopped to take pictures. They said they are happy to be in America. But not long ago, some of their futures were uncertain under the travel ban.
"Because it took so long, and we were in the [vetting] process for a very long time to come to the U.S., it was a bit stressing to be admitted and then turned back at the airport,” a refugee from Ethiopia said.
Seventy-five refugees from various countries were welcomed at the reception by Gov. John Hickenlooper and the mayors of Denver and Aurora.
"We're proud of the diversity that we have,” Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said. “We view that as an opportunity."
Family members from Syria who escaped war were welcomed at the event. They started their immigration process to America more than five years ago.
"When we arrived here, landing at the Los Angeles airport -- when we found the people smiling and welcoming us, we started to feel comfortable," explained the family’s patriarch.
The man said he and his family are fortunate because they arrived in the United States just before Trump was inaugurated. But many of their loved ones back home haven’t been as lucky.
The ban prevented nearly 700 refugees from coming to Colorado, according to the state. One-third of those 700 refugees have arrived in Colorado since a stay was placed on the ban by a federal judge.
Many of the immigrants welcomed Wednesday are focused on getting Social Security cards in order to find work.
A new executive order revising Trump's original travel ban is expected in the coming days. The refugees said they are nervous about future Trump policies.