A Syrian family that hoped to bring relatives to Windsor is devastated after learning the federal government will no longer accept new applications for privately sponsored refugees from Syria or Iraq.

Abdul Alhamawi moved to Windsor year ago with his wife and four children. They expected to bring eight more family members once they settled into their new homes.

But politicians in Ottawa announced last week the government had reached its cap of 1,000 privately-sponsored refugees from those countries and would not accept other applications.

Alhamawi still hasn't told one of his family members, who are currently living in refugee camps in Jordan, the latest news.

"It's very hard to tell him no and maybe he'll cry," he told CBC News. "I don't know what will happen if I tell him."

Refugees welcome rally downtown St. John's

A group of about 50 people attended a St. John's rally to welcome refugees, while condemning racism and Islamophobia. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

 The goal of the cap was to eliminate the backlog of applications and reduce wait times for new ones, according to the government.

Since November 2015, Canada has accepted more than 38,000 Syrian refugees. More than 21,000 are government assisted and 13,000 are privately sponsored.

Alhamawi, whose family was sponsored by a group of people from Essex Presbytery, said they were not aware of the cap.

The United Church group wanted to help bring the rest of the family to Canada, but that may no longer be possible.

Alhamawi said he was disappointed with the government and not sure about what to do next.

"They gave us a false hope and I think there should have been some way they could have told us," he said. "I miss my family and my wife's family."