Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Monday welcomed a passenger at Sea-Tac Airport who had been blocked by President Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban.
Isahaq Ahmed Rabi, 28, was detained Jan. 28 at the airport and deported back to Vienna, where he been waiting for his papers to enter the United States. Rabi is a citizen of Somalia. His wife is a U.S. citizen.
A federal judge Friday placed a temporary hold on the ban after Washington state and Minnesota challenged the constitutionality of the ban, which targeted seven mostly Muslim countries.
Ferguson, with Inslee’s support, sued Trump over the travel ban, saying it harmed residents and effectively mandated discrimination.
“The law is not an abstraction,” Ferguson said. “There are huge impacts to people. Nobody is above the law. That includes the president.”
Ibado Hassan, Rabi’s wife, stood next to him after he arrived. She gave him a bouquet of flowers and a cried as they stood listening to the governor speak.
“We have a vetting process,” Inslee said. “This took two years for a man to rejoin his wife who is an American citizen.”
Customs and Border Protection officials detained Rabi after he became a casualty of Trump’s order banning entry to immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Isaq was a refugee from Somalia living in Vienna where he applied for refugee status in the United States.
He was the last of a group of people who were turned around at Sea-Tac under the travel ban.
Ferguson said he and a legal team were preparing an argument for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent more cases like this.
Another traveler affected by the travel ban arrived Sunday night, said Matt Adams, an attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Mohammed Ahmed Ali, 38, and his 12-year-old daughter were reunited with the girl’s mother and siblings, Adams said.
Ali, who lives in Los Banos, California, was born in Yemen and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2010. His daughter is a citizen of Yemen and was living there with her grandparents. Ali had applied for a family-based immigrant visa for his daughter.
Ali and his daughter went to Djibouti for her interview and learned her visa was approved. They were planning to board a flight to the United States on Jan. 28 but were told the daughter could not board because of Trump’s executive order.
Ali remained behind with his daughter and sought help from the rights group. He was one of three people who filed a class-action, alleging the ban was unconstitutional.
The other two families in the lawsuit are waiting for consular interviews, Adams said.
News Tribune contributing writer Michael Simpson contributed to this report.