The journey ends with a water bottle.
Most refugees have fled war or famine. They've waited as long as a decade to walk the tarmac at Portland International Airport.
When they find a Catholic Charities worker waiting with the water, the relief is overwhelming.
Some drain the bottle with one gulp. A Somali man poured it all over his face. Many fall to the ground, clutching the bottle as they kiss the airport carpet.
"They drink it like they've never drank water before," said Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, who made the journey herself in the 1970s after the Vietnam War. "Overseas, water doesn't come easy. They say, 'What have we done to deserve this? No one has ever given us this.'"
Soneoulay-Gillespie is the Catholic Charities of Oregon's director of refugee resettlement. Before this week, her team welcomed refugees three times a week. Another 30 were due to arrive in the next month.
Then, last Friday, President Donald Trump suspended the visas of citizens of seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. He forbade refugees from coming to the United States for 120 days.
"We may not go to the airport anymore," Soneoulay-Gillespie said. "We may not be able to welcome human beings into this amazing country. This changes that landscape of everything we do."