By Charles Ornstein
On Saturday morning, Dr. Kamal Fadlalla traveled more than two hours from his family’s home in Wad Madani, Sudan, to the country’s capital of Khartoum to board a flight back to the United States.
For Fadlalla, a second-year resident in internal medicine at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, this was to be an early ending to his first trip back to his home country since he started in his training program 20 months ago.
He left the U.S. on January 13, a week before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Fadlalla had planned to stay in the country until early February, but colleagues called late last week to warn him to hurry if he wanted to get back into the United States.
Though he had a newly issued H-1B visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations, he lived in Sudan, one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries from which President Donald Trump banned visitors for at least 90 days.
Initially, everything went fine at the airport. He received his boarding pass. He went through an immigration checkpoint and walked to his gate. But as he was about to board his Emirates airline flight, he heard his name called from the loudspeaker, instructing him to return to the counter. An officer told him the airline’s headquarters had ordered that he not board the plane. After waiting four hours at the airport, he returned to his family’s home.
“They took our boarding pass. They canceled our flight,” said Fadlalla, in a phone interview with ProPublica from Sudan. “It was really shocking for me.” [Read more…]