Committee of Interns and Residents Welcomes Dr. Kamal Fadlalla Back to Brooklyn
Sudanese Physician’s Week of Limbo Ends, But the Fight is Not Over
New York – After the president’s Executive Order left him in Sudan with no certainty about whether he would be able to return to the United States and resume his training, Brooklyn resident physician Kamal Fadlalla is back on US soil and ready to go back to work at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was greeted at JFK airport Sunday morning by colleagues, fellow CIR members, and elected officials.
“I’m glad justice won,” Dr. Fadlalla told reporters at the airport. “I need to get back to my work.” Dr. Fadlalla is a second year internal medicine resident at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, where the majority of his patients are from low income communities of color.
With nearly one quarter of resident physicians in the US coming from other countries, the effects of the travel ban would devastate hospitals and healthcare systems and worsen the physician shortage.
Dr. Fadlalla was visiting family in Sudan when coworkers advised him to return early to the US because of rumors of the pending immigration ban. He had a boarding pass and was ready to fly back from Khartoum on January 28 but was not allowed to board. CIR lawyers have been working furiously to challenge the travel ban and to help Dr. Fadlalla get back to the states, and he was finally able to get on a flight after a Seattle federal judge’s ruling halted the Executive Order.
New York City Public Advocate Leticia James and Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr. joined doctors at JFK to welcome him home Sunday.
“It’s great to have Dr. Kamal Fadlalla home in Brooklyn,” said James. “Kamal is a hardworking doctor who spends his days delivering lifesaving medical care in Brooklyn, and the fact that this immigration ban barred him from returning is as immoral as it is illegal. We must stay focused on overturning this ban and ensuring all who have the right to remain in this country can do so without issue.”
“I am so proud to welcome back home Dr. Fadlalla, who is a proud member of my city council district who provides the highest level of care and concern for our loved ones at Interfaith Medical Center,” said Councilman Cornegy. “He has dedicated his life to serving others, yet with this ‘Muslim Ban,’ our country failed to serve him. I stand with Dr. Fadlalla and will fight for him and others to uphold the ideals this country stands for.”
While all eyes have been on Dr. Fadlalla’s situation, CIR President Dr. Eve Kellner noted that he is one of thousands of people affected by the travel ban.
“It’s important to understand that these are real people whose lives and whose communities are being disrupted, not just statistics,” Dr. Kellner said. “We are beyond thrilled to have Kamal back, and now we need to keep fighting for all the others who have been unfairly targeted. That’s what being in a union means- we stand together to fight injustice.”
Dr. Fadlalla will be available after 2pm Tuesday, Feb. 7 for limited interviews at the CIR office, 520 8th Ave., Suite 1200.