Somali Man Returns To Sea-Tac Airport After Being Caught In Travel Ban

Feb 6, 2017

The last immigrant turned away at Sea-Tac airport last month arrived back in Seattle today ... welcomed by his family and elected leaders.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee thanked the lawyers and customs officials who worked to bring him back.

"We've shown the strength of our compassion, we've shown the depth of our common sense, and we have shown the power of the United States constitution. That's a pretty good thing for the state of Washington" Inslee said.

Isahaq Ahmed Rabi is a refugee who fled Somalia in 2013. He was living in Vienna, waiting to join his wife in Seattle.

Rabi gained approval to come to the U.S. in early January. But, when he arrived at Sea-Tac airport last month, he was turned away and sent back to Europe.

Last Friday a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on President Trump’s travel ban. The judge’s ruling allowed Rabi and others to enter the country. It also prompted a legal back and forth between federal courts and the Trump Administration over the weekend.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he expects the legal fight to continue.

"There's little doubt in my mind that ultimately, at some point in this process, we'll end up before the U.S. Supreme Court and whether that comes sooner or a little bit later remains unclear, things are moving quickly," Ferguson said.  "But I'm confident in our case when it gets to the Supreme Court."

In the meantime, other people who have been blocked from entering the country are also getting through. Including an Iranian dentist who arrived with his daughter on Monday.

Copyright 2017 KUOW