New York City doctor not allowed back from home country of Sudan

Jim Dolan Image
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
NYC doctor not allowed back from home country of Sudan
EMBED <>More Videos

Jim Dolan has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are the policy questions about the president's ban on immigration, and there is the human side.

A doctor who lives in Brooklyn can't get back home because he was visiting his homeland, Sudan.

Dr. Menzin Khalid's friend is an excellent doctor whose timing couldn't be worse.

"He went home to visit his family, it had been a year and a half since he had seen his mom and his sister, so he thought now is a good time to go visit them," Dr. Khalid said.

It was the worst possible time. Dr. Kamal Fadlalla's family is in Sudan, and President Trump's executive order bans entry to the United States for people from Sudan and some other Muslim countries.

On Sunday, when he was supposed to fly back to the U.S., Dr. Fadlalla called and said, "'I got my boarding pass to New York, and then I was informed by the airline company that my name has been called and I am not allowed to go because there is a list that came from Border Control' that has his name on it so he was not allowed into the U.S. He took his luggage, he was escorted out of the airport," Khalid said.

Dr. Fadlalla was finishing his residency at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. He had about a year to go.

President Trump said Monday night, "It is time to get serious about protecting our country."

"Is there anything in your friend's background that would lead them to believe that he was dangerous to America?" Eyewitness News Reporter Jim Dolan asked.

"Not at all, not at all. It's very understandable that there is a need for better vetting with all the terrorist activities that are happening in the world lately, but a doctor who's been working here for more than 20 months, who has been giving life to patients, it only stands to reason that he's not going to take lives," Khalid said.

"We say that we welcome people, and we say that we have this great democracy, and this kind of flies in the face of that idea," Councilman Robert Cornegy said.

Dr. Fadlalla is one of many suddenly stranded now abroad, unable to get home to their lives in the United States.

"I have the same thing, we are all pursuing a dream, we are all doing the best we can to improve ourselves and to do our best by our patients," Khalid said.