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As refugee admissions drop sharply, two lifelong friends wait — one here, one in Iraq

Kewa Sharif holds a photo of colleagues during the Iraq war, including his longtime friend who has been unable to follow him to the U.S. as a refugee. Both worked IT jobs supporting the U.S. military during the war.
Kewa Sharif holds a photo of colleagues during the Iraq war, including his longtime friend who has been unable to follow him to the U.S. as a refugee. Both worked IT jobs supporting the U.S. military during the war.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

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The Trump administration once again cut the annual number of refugees allowed into the United States, capping it at 30,000 — the lowest number on record. 

Only 22,491 refugees were admitted to the U.S. in fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30.

The slowdown is being felt on a personal level in places like Anaheim, where one man waits for a longtime friend he grew up with in Iraq to arrive.

Both worked jobs supporting the U.S. military during the Iraq war. One made it to the U.S. with his family before President Trump took office. The other didn’t – and he’s hit up against the administration's policy limiting immigration.

Read the full story on LAist.com: A Tale Of Two Friends, Thousands Of Refugees And A Long, Long Wait