Although President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been blocked, individuals are still being barred from entering the country at airports.
This was the case for Yussuf Abdi — a respected Salt Lake City imam and an American citizen — who was recently blocked from boarding a flight to the United States.
According to Mic, Abdi traveled to Kenya to pick up his wife and five children as they were all granted U.S. visas and passports to join him in the states. However, upon arriving to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Qatar Airways employees told Abdi that he would not be allowed to enter the U.S., but his wife and children were permitted to board.
Jim McConkie, an attorney and co-founder of the Refugee Justice League of Utah, told reporters that Qatar Airways told Abdi that “he couldn’t board because the U.S. wouldn’t accept him.”
Abdi was rightfully shocked by this news considering that he has had citizenship in America since 2010 and has been a Utah resident for the past six years.
"He wanted to go over there to get his family and bring them back to the United States," McConkie said. "He actually was afraid to go. They're all super nervous."
Sadly, the Kenyan native’s fears became his reality. Trump’s controversial ban directly targets Muslims, and Abdi’s case makes this fact even clearer.
The ban explicitly bars travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the country. However, Abdi was traveling from Kenya, which is not one of the prohibited countries, yet he was still blocked.
Furthermore, the fact that he is Muslim evidently outweighed his U.S. citizenship, which is unconstitutional and downright discriminatory.
Making matters worse, Abdi’s temporary visa for his Kenya visit is set to expire soon, and he can’t even get home.
McConkie said he plans to right this wrong by reaching out to senators, the local embassy, and the Department of Homeland Security to help get Abdi back into the country.
"We're going to start pushing all of the buttons that we can to get him out of that country," McConkie reportedly said.
The most infuriating part about this ordeal is that even with the travel ban being blocked by the courts, Trump's agenda is still being carried out on the ground, which indicates that the democratic process is not being respected.
Despite what the Trump administration claims, this ban is not about national security, but about demonizing people based on their race and religion.