With the help of HSPRD’s Kalman Resnick, Sahar Algonaimi, a 58 year old teacher from Saudi Arabia and a citizen of Syria, entered the U.S. in Chicago on February 17, 2017 after flying in from Abu Dhabi.
Nearly 3 weeks earlier on January 28, 2017, Sahar Algonaimi was denied entry, sent back to Abu Dhabi and had her visa revoked after landing at O’Hare International Airport. Although Algonaimi came to the United States to be with her mother in Indiana as she battles cancer, President Trump’s recent travel ban executive order restricted her from doing so. CBS Chicago reported that attorneys believe Algonaimi was the first person to be sent back from O’Hare. Mr. Resnick told WBEZ, “We all have mothers. We all have fathers. They get ill. We all can understand what it must be like to have an ill mother undergoing surgery and want to visit that mother, and the mother wanting her child to visit her.”
Mr. Resnick’s work, along with the help of the volunteer attorneys who have been stationed at the international terminal at O’Hare since the executive order was signed, was crucial in providing Algonaimi a secure entry into the United States. Mr. Resnick told the Chicago Sun-Times, “This happened because there were volunteer lawyers from many law firms in Chicago who came to this airport to defend people impacted by the executive order.”