N.C. Muslim Physician granted new visa
Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), a Pakistani physician working in North Carolina will be allowed to return to the United States after being denied re-entry and sent back to Pakistan earlier this month because he failed to abide by a little-known immigration registration policy.
Dr. Shahid Mahmood, a respected family practitioner working in an underserved area of North Carolina for more than four years, told CAIR he had an interview today with American officials in Pakistan and was told he will be issued a new visa within a week, allowing him to return to the United States and go back to work.
“We are pleased that Dr. Mahmood will be able to resume to his practice serving poor and elderly patients in North Carolina and we thank all those who called, faxed or e-mailed elected officials seeking his return,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “This incident points to the need for better dissemination of information about new immigration policies that can so negatively impact the lives of hard-working, productive members of our society.” Mahmood’s family today thanked CAIR for its assistance in resolving the case.
Dr. Mahmood was returned to Pakistan May 11 after coming back from a two-week trip to that country. He was denied re-entry at Washington Dulles International Airport despite the fact that he had been told on departure by airline personnel there was no registration requirement.
According to the new immigration policy, anyone who went through the recently-completed Special Registration program must provide notice of departure from and re-entry into the United States. The policy states: “Nonimmigrants who must follow these special procedures will also have to use specially designated ports when they leave the country and report in person to an immigration officer at the port on their departure date.”
CAIR has received a number of complaints similar to that of Dr. Mahmood and is requesting that anyone denied re-entry file an incident report form. Report forms are available for download at: http://www.cair-net.org/ireport/Incident_Report.doc, or by calling 202-488-8787. CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 16 regional offices nationwide and in Canada.
- Make dua’a for Dr. Mahmood’s safe return.
- Go to the following links to educate yourself and others in your community about the new departure registration requirements.