Iraq veteran, who houses refugees in Cleveland, speaks out on Trump's planned immigration order

Trump spoke of bans and "extreme vetting"

CLEVELAND -

A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who rents homes in Cleveland to refugees of war-torn nations, criticized President Trump’s planned executive order to limit immigration from those parts of the world.

Daryl Anderson’s company, Mustard Seed Development, which is an intentional play on a parable in The Bible, sprang from his time as a United States Marine deployed overseas after September 11.

“If I wouldn’t have gone over there, I wouldn’t have had an interaction with different cultures,” Anderson said.

Now, his company buys condemned and foreclosed homes, flips them and rents them out. Anderson said he rents to anyone, but word of mouth has made him a favorite in the refugee community.

It’s a business model now threatened by President Donald Trump’s planned executive action to restrict immigration from some war-ravaged countries, including Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The President told ABC’s David Muir his plan would also call for “extreme vetting” from other countries, like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"It’s going to be very hard to come in,” President Trump said Wednesday. "Right now, it’s very easy to come in.”

But Anderson said that’s not true.

"There’s actually a two-year vetting process for every refugee that comes here,” Anderson said, "I really feel like The Bible really gives us the command to help those who are drastically different from us.”

On Thursday, Anderson and his brother were working inside a property located at 2049 West 81st Street in Cleveland. It’s been vacant since 2009, but now has a new furnace and updated electrical wiring.

It’s a property that was scheduled to get demolished, at the cost of thousands of dollars to taxpayers. Now it could soon be home to a taxpaying refugee family.

“Our philosophy in this business is if everyone’s not a winner,” Anderson said, “We’re not going to do it."

Print this article Back to Top