Yemeni Mother Overcomes Travel Ban to See Her Dying Son in the US

Shaima Swileh, center, stands with her husband Ali Hassan, second from left, after Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Swileh is the Yemeni mother who won her fight for a waiver from the Trump administration’s travel ban that would allow her to go to California to see her dying 2-year-old son. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

After battling U.S. immigration authorities for more than a year for the right to enter the country and flying halfway around the world, a Yemeni mother finally got to hold her dying 2-year-old son.

A photograph released late Wednesday by Council on American-Islamic Relations shows Shaima Swileh cradling her son Abdullah at a hospital in Oakland where he is on life support.

Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday night after the advocacy group sued the U.S. to grant her waiver from the Trump administration’s travel ban. She got a visa after a 17-month legal fight.

Swileh, wearing dark glasses and a white headscarf, was mobbed by friends and reporters at the airport.

“This is a difficult time for our family, but we are blessed to be together,” the boy’s father, Ali Hassan, said at the airport, asking for privacy.

The couple was driven to see their son at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, where Hassan brought Abdullah in the fall to get treatment for a genetic brain disorder.

Hassan, a U.S. citizen who lives in Stockton, and Swileh moved to Egypt after marrying in war-torn Yemen in 2016 and had been trying to get a visa for Swileh since 2017 so the family could move to California.

Citizens from Yemen and four other mostly Muslim countries, along with North Korea and Venezuela, are restricted from coming to the United States under the travel ban enacted under President Donald Trump.

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Source: Religion News Service