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West Fargo couple hopes a letter to President Trump brings family members home from Turkey

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FARGO — Deb and Dave Vosseteig raised their three children here in Fargo. But as they approach retirement age, they have found themselves busier than ever dealing with the frustration of immigration, refugee and state department bureaucracy.

"Behind them is a black hole, they can't go back. so they are stuck right here, they can't leave Turkey so they are stuck," said Deb Vosseteig.

Their daughter Sarah traveled to Turkey for missionary work four years ago.

While there, she fell in love and married a Christian Iranian Refugee named Afshin, who came to Turkey after Christians were being harassed in Iran.

"So they packed their bags in short order, otherwise they may be in prison or worse," said Dave Vosseteig.

Sarah and her husband, still considered a refugee, are stuck in Turkey. And now with President Trump coming to town, they are hoping he will hear their story.

They have written Congressman Cramer a letter in hopes it lands in the hands of Trump.

"He (Trump) made a pledge during the campaign before he was president that he would focus on those refugees in the middle east that were refugees because of religious persecution. We hope he will not forget that pledge," said Dave.

For more than two years, they have all tried to get Ashin to America. He has been assigned to come to America. Given the green light, but the paperwork and the hot topic of immigration has turned any hopes of a quick solution upside down.

"These people are upstanding citizens and they would be an asset to the United States and they have such a desire to come here to live here. And start their life of freedom and security," Deb said.

The big fear, Afshin, a Christian, will be kicked out of Turkey and sent back to Iran.

"Turkey is turning more fundamentalist, and they are tired of having all these refugees and they are upset with the west for not moving things forward," Dave said, " there is a threat they could be shipped back to the country of origin and that could be a death sentence."

Congressman Cramer's office has told the family he now has the letter. They hope he passes it on to President Trump.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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