Chicago courts rule that doctor, 2nd plaintiff stranded by travel ban can return

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Federal judges in Chicago ruled in favor of the plaintiffs Wednesday in a pair of lawsuits to block President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and travel ban from seven Muslim-majority nations.

After being stuck overseas because of the travel ban, Dr. Amer Al Homssi should be home by Thursday morning.

"I'm just delighted that lawyers were able to resolve something that probably shouldn't have happened in the first place," said his attorney Thomas Durkin.

Overjoyed friends and colleagues learned of his return while at a packed court hearing Wednesday afternoon where his lawyers reached an agreement with the government allowing him to return to the US and saving his future medical residency program, which was in jeopardy.

"If Amer was not allowed within this one month, the program will try to find someone else," said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, fellow medical student and friend.

The 24-year-old internal medicine resident at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn filed a lawsuit in federal court after the Chicago doctor, who is a Syrian native with a passport from the United Arab Emirates and an American J-1 student visa, was not allowed to return to Chicago after he traveled to the UAE to get married.

"Justice was at least served in this case. I would have been pretty sad if he could not have come back and rejoined us," said his colleague Dr. Mohammad Khad.

At least one other lawsuit has been filed against the Trump administration in Chicago, by a city resident in his 50s who is a permanent legal resident of the U.S. The suit said he left the country to care for his sick mother in Iran and was refused a plane ticket back to America. He has only been identified as John Doe and his lawyers said he will now be allowed to return as well.

"Basically today the government has agreed that the executive order that the president signed on January 27th does not apply to permanent residents," said Tahar Kalem, his attorney.

The fallout from the travel ban has left many concerned, including Iranian-American Simin Rasmussen, who wanted to witness Wednesday's proceedings.

"This is not just an Iranian issue in my view, it's a human rights issue," she said.
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