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Egyptian American stuck in Cairo after being placed on no-fly list is allowed to return home

February 7, 2011 |  3:58 pm

An Egyptian American stuck in Cairo after being told she was on a no-fly list was able to return to Los Angeles over the weekend but had to leave her 15-month-old daughter behind in her beleaguered home country, ACLU officials said.

Samaa Kerba, a legal permanent resident of the United States, had to leave her baby behind with her grandmother because the child did not have papers proving she was an American citizen, according to the ACLU.

Kerba chose to leave her child and return to the U.S. because she’d been abroad too long and was risking losing her legal residency if she delayed. However, on the way, she and her other child were held up in Holland because she was told her name was on a list barring her from flying, according to her attorney.

Her children’s father, a native-born American, had previously abandoned the family for Somalia because he wanted to live in a country under Islamic law, said ACLU attorney Ahilan Arulanantham. He was killed in the African country soon afterward in unclear circumstances, Arulanantham said.

The attorney speculated that his client’s association with the seemingly radicalized father of her children may have been what landed her on a restricted list.

The woman was eventually allowed to fly to the U.S., but the lingering challenges in reuniting with her daughter have amounted to an immigration nightmare, the attorney said.

“Egypt is going up in smoke,” Arulanantham said. “She’s very stressed out.”

-- Robert Faturechi