Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Updates via NPR: Trump says he was shot in the ear at rally, with 1 spectator dead and 2 others injured

Utah Man Barred From Boarding Plane Back To U.S.


A Muslim-American Utah man is stuck in Kenya after allegedly being told he could not return to The United States. Yussuf Abdi’s attorney says airline officials told him the U.S. government had placed a hold on Adbi and would not allow him to board his return flight back to Salt Lake City with his wife and children.

Abdi’s attorney James McConkie is with the group Refugee Justice League. He says he’s working with Utah’s Congressional delegation to get Abdi back home. He says Abdi, who is a U.S. citizen, flew to Kenya to bring his wife and children back to the U.S. McConkie says Abdi’s family members all have valid U.S. passports or travel visas. Airline officials allegedly told Abdi his family could board the plane but he could not. The entire family now remains in Kenya. 

McConkie says he’s unaware of any reason the U.S. government would block Abdi’s return to the U.S.

“This is a religious leader who has no criminal record and never had a criminal record, is an upright citizen and contributor to our society and to Utah and to the people here in our community,” McConkie says. “If there is some nefarious reason the United States government better spit it out pretty quickly or it is illegal.”

McConkie says if the matter isn’t resolved soon, attorney’s with his organization, Refugee Justice League would consider filing a temporary restraining order against the federal government to prevent any further actions barring Abdi from returning.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.