A Chicago-based doctor is suing the Trump administration stating he has been stranded in the Middle East following the new US president’s travel ban.
The suit refers to the plaintiff as “collateral damage” of Trump’s recent travel order, naming Trump, the US Department of Homeland Security and its Secretary John Kelly as well as US Customs and Border Protection and its acting Commissioner Kevin K McAleenan as defendants.
Dr Al Homssi, 24, has a Syrian passport but holds residency in the United Arab Emirates where he has lived all his life. He currently resides in Chicago on a J-1 student visa as he completes his medical studies.
The 21-year-old had travelled to UAE 11 days prior to get married, but as he tried to board a flight to travel back to the US, the Etihad Airways counter noticed his Syrian passport and he was summoned for a secondary screening.
His lawsuit filed at a district court in the state of Illinois, also states that he cooperated fully, voluntarily turning over his mobile phone and personal belongings.
At US pre-clearance, a security officer “took his passport, his form DS-2019 (a supplementary document to his J-1 visa), and his boarding pass,” according to the complaint. “The officer took his fingerprints and then ordered him to a secondary security check room.”
His work document and school transcripts were reviewed, as he was asked questions. A short time later he was informed that he wasn’t allowed to board the flight because of President Trump’s executive order that banned immigration from seven countries, including Syria, where he was born.
Abdulaziz Galadari, a colleague of Dr Al Homssi’s, said he was “one of the top students in his class.” Speaking to The Independent he said, “He is one of the most hardworking people I had the pleasure to meet. He worked so hard to finish his US licensing exams and with hard work he finally earned a spot in one of the most esteemed residency programs in Chicago.”
Thomas Durkin, Dr Al Homssi’s attorney toldNBC7 television station, “It’s just so ignorant and stupid. I don’t understand it. I’m just embarrassed that my country would do something like that.”
On Wednesday evening, Dr Al Homssi was cleared to fly back to the US, and his lawyers said he had boarded a flight in Abu Dhabi.