Questions remain after Chicago doctor detained following Trump order


Chuck Goudie Image
Thursday, February 2, 2017
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Dr. Amer Al Homssi's visa was canceled in Abu Dhabi following Donald Trump's executive order.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago doctor who was detained in Abu Dhabi following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration was headed home Wednesday night.

Dr. Amer Al Homssi's visa was canceled by a U.S. agent, but a judge reinstated it on Wednesday. His Chicago-bound flight left the United Arab Emirates and slated to arrive at 9 a.m. Thursday.

READ MORE: Complaint, Al Homssi v Trump 17 CV 801

However, mystery remains about why the 24-year-old doctor from Advocate Christ Medical Center was detained in the first place.

Al Homssi, who arrived at the Abu Dhabi airport after attending his own wedding, was being processed through the U.S. pre-screening section when the agent handwrote "Cancelled" on the visa citing "E.O. 59447v.8."

It was presumed he was denied due to Trump's controversial executive order.

"Agents are enforcing the law and the law as it now stands is an executive order from the president." Gil Soffer, an ABC7 legal analyst.

However, the immigration executive order written on the visa does not match the number of Trump's executive order -- E.O. 13764.

No one seemed aware of the disparity. On Wednesday, no one has any explanation for it.

Oddly, the only reference the I-Team could find to that executive order number used to cancel the doctors passport - 59447 -- is a post-9/11 order signed by then-president George W. Bush.


That document, a national emergency declaration with respect to "persons who commit, threaten to commit or support terrorism," is still in effect, having been reaffirmed several times, mostly recently by President Barack Obama.

The Federal Register page number for that terrorism emergency order is 59447.

What isn't known is whether the U.S. agent in Abu Dhabi intended for that citation to be used on Al Homssi's visa.

When Al Homssi's visa was pulled just before he boarded a plane to Chicago, he was not questioned about terrorism and told the action was due to new immigration order.

"We just wanted him back, we wanted him back and able to complete this residency and it looks like that's what's going to be able to happen." Thomas Durkin, attorney for Al Homssi.

Perhaps that U.S. agent in Abu Dhabi canceled visas in the past using that post-9/11 citation and merely did so in Al Homssi's case out of habit.

Or there could be some other reasonable explanation. Perhaps we will never know.

Most important to Al Homssi and his supporters is that he is coming home.