FOX 32 NEWS - A medical student from the Middle East, who has been working at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn but got caught in the middle of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, won a major court victory Wednesday that has allowed him to return to the United States.
Dr. Amer Al Homssi was born in Syria, but is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. When he went to the Abu Dubai International Airport for his return flight on Saturday, he was flagged by immigration officials because he has a passport from Syria, one of the seven mainly Muslim countries impacted by the immigration ban. Al Homssi's visa was cancelled, leaving him stranded.
On Wednesday, his attorney and numerous colleagues went to federal court and worked out a deal that allowed Al Homssi to get on a flight back to Chicago.
“This is a tremendous victory for one person who faced very big odds, but this was a real humanitarian problem that lawyers solved for him, government lawyers and I just, at the sake of risking my reputation because I'm always yelling at the government, but I can't say enough for the lawyers who brought this about,” said Tom Durnkin, Al Homssi's Attorney.
“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 at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Dr. Mohammad Khan.
If the travel restriction had not been lifted for Al Homssi, his future as a doctor here could have been in jeopardy.
“If he wasn't able to come back within thirty days, he would have lost his position with us, not any fault of our own, it's just the rules, and he probably wouldn't have been able to get another residency position at least for a while so his career as a physician was threatened,” said Dr. Taylor Brinton, Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Al Homssi's fellow doctors described him as a smart, kind and good with patients, and someone who got introduced to baseball during the Cubs World Series run.
“I worked with him overnights in October and November, we actually were able to watch a couple of innings of the World Series at the hospital while we were on nights, he had never watched baseball before, I was explaining the score to him and he was into it,” said Dr. Joel Saeedi, Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Al Homssi’s attorney said he is set to arrive at O’Hare Thursday morning.