Cleveland Clinic quietly arranges for barred Sudanese physician's return to US

Suha Abushamma, MD, the Sudanese Cleveland Clinic physician who was barred from entering the U.S. and sent back to Saudi Arabia as a result of President Donald Trump's executive order on travel and immigration, returned to the U.S. Feb. 7, reports ProPublica.

Dr. Abushamma, one of the highest-profile individuals affected by President Trump's Jan. 27 executive order, was given the choice of "voluntarily" withdrawing her visa application or being forcibly deported after arriving at John F. Kennedy airport in New York Jan. 28. Getting deported would have prevented her from entering the U.S. for five years. She chose to withdraw her visa application and flew back to Saudi Arabia, where her parents live, according to the report.

Dr. Abushamma's return to the U.S. was the result of quiet, high-level discussions between the clinic's attorneys and outside lawyers working with officials at the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, according to the report. The U.S. Attorney's office secured permission for her to return to the country without a problem even though her visa was cancelled, David Rowan, the clinic's chief legal officer told ProPublica.

"There were a lot of behind-the-scenes activities," Mr. Rowan said in an interview with ProPublica. He said the U.S. Attorney's office spoke to the Department of Homeland Security "as far as the unique circumstances here and having the necessary paperwork ... We had to have authorization to let her board a flight in Saudi Arabia."

Prior to her return, Dr. Abushamma sued the Trump administration to allow her to return to the U.S. And last week, about two dozen of her colleagues at Cleveland Clinic gathered at the clinic's Miller Pavilion to demonstrate their support. While standing in silence, the group held photos of Dr. Abushamma and signs that said "#BringSuhaBack," according to a report.


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars