Selden man unable to get back in US during Trump travel ban becomes citizen

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A Selden man who got caught up in President Donald Trump's travel ban on Muslim-majority countries two years ago is now an American citizen.

It's been a long and difficult road for Abdulelah Othman. Not long ago, he was unable to get into the country because of President Trump's travel ban. On Thursday, he became a United States citizen at the Federal Courthouse in Central Islip.

News 12 was there moments after Othman and his wife, Barbara, walked out of the swearing-in ceremony with a Certificate of Naturalization in hand.

MORE: Selden man stranded due to travel ban returns home 

MORE: Stony Brook student among those detained following presidential travel order 

Othman's future was uncertain in 2017. He was visiting his sick mother in Saudi Arabia when the Trump administration implemented the controversial travel ban that prevented citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Othman's passport at the time was from Yemen, one of the countries on that list.

“We had done everything we thought we needed to do to bring my husband here legally,” said Abdulelah's wife Barbara Gundrum. “He had his green card, and then boom, the door was closed. That was terrifying.”

Othman says, however, that he never gave up hope that he'd one day become a United States citizen.

“It's my dream,” he says.

Othman is now eligible for a United States passport. He and his wife say they are thrilled to carry on with their lives as an American couple.

News 12 asked Othman what excites him most about being a U.S. citizen.  He said that he can’t wait to vote.

 

 

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