Democrats dine at Olive Tree to support family separated by travel ban

Milford Democrats are inviting residents to dine at the Olive Tree in Milford Friday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. to show support for a local family that was separated by a recent travel ban.

“Do you love good Mediterranean food and supporting those who are seeking a better life in America?” their announcement states. “Family members of The Olive Tree ... were denied entry into the US as Syrian refugees due to President Trump's executive order.

“Let's show the owners of The Olive Tree real American values, such as love, acceptance and a will to help those in need,” the announcement states.

Senator Christopher Murphy went to bat Monday night on the Senate floor for Fahti (Fadi) Kassar, a Milford father separated from his wife and two daughters by President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

On Wednesday, Kassar’s brother-in-law Sammer Karout, who owns the Olive Tree, said he had just gotten news that the family would be reunited : The girls and their mother are expected to fly into New York today.

Laura Maloney, a spokesman for Senator Murphy, confirmed the news.

She said Kassar received news from the Customs and Border Patrol that his wife and two daughters can fly from Jordan to New York.

“Our office has been in touch with Customs and Border Patrol and the State Department, and we will continue to be until the Kassar family is safely reunited,” Maloney said.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the U.S. government had granted waivers to let 872 refugees into the country this week.

“A Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the waivers, noting that the refugees were considered ‘in transit’ and had already been cleared for resettlement before the ban took effect,” Reuters reported.

Maloney said her office believes the girls and their mother were among those 872 people granted waivers.

The Olive Tree is located at 2009 Bridgeport Avenue.