Cleveland Clinic’s resident doctor returns to U.S. after immigration ban

Cleveland Clinic building
Medical resident Suha Abushamma returned to the United States and work after intense behind-the-scenes activities to secure paperwork so she could enter the country. (Cleveland Clinic)

Cleveland Clinic medical resident Suha Abushamma is back in the United States, and back to work, after she was banned from returning to the country following President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Abushamma’s return was celebrated Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic, STAT reports. Although many medical professionals have been critical of Cleveland Clinic’s leadership, including CEO Toby Cosgrove, and their plans to hold a fundraiser at a Trump luxury resort in the wake of the order, Abushamma only had good words to say about the organization for helping to secure her return.

“I’m beyond thankful for your support and never giving up on me,” she said at a press conference. “Although this has been a challenge for me in many ways, today I am feeling much gratitude and looking forward to getting back to work and putting patients first.”

Her case was among the most high-profile instances of the consequences of the hastily executed order, which caused chaos across the country and globe. A federal judge in Seattle blocked key components of the ban last week but the Department of Justice has filed a brief urging a federal appeals court to reinstate the restrictions. A decision is expected sometime this week, possibly today.Trump immigration ban remains on hold after appeals court ruling

RELATED: Trump immigration ban remains on hold after appeals court ruling

The secret mission to get Abushamma back to the U.S. was complicated, according to ProPublica. Lawyers for the Cleveland Clinic, outside lawyers working with them and officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York were involved in discussions to secure permission for her return, the publication reports.

“There were a lot of behind-the-scenes activities,” David Rowan, the clinic’s chief legal officer, told ProPublica, noting that the U.S. Attorney’s office worked with the Department of Homeland Security to discuss her unique circumstances and provide paperwork to allow her to board a flight in Saudi Arabia to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that the Iranian infant who needs lifesaving heart surgery is now at a Portland, Oregon, hospital after she was temporarily banned from coming to the U.S. due to the immigration order.

The news outlet reported that Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and immigration attorneys were instrumental in obtaining a waiver so Fatemeh Reshad and her family could get to the U.S.

"This was truly a team effort to beat the clock, given the medical and legal hurdles Fatemeh was facing," Jennifer Morrissey, a Portland immigration attorney, told the AP.