Yemeni mother fought 17 months to overcome U.S. travel ban to visit dying 2-year-old son

Yemeni mother fought 17 months to overcome U.S. travel ban to visit dying 2-year-old son
Dying Yemeni child Abdullah Hassan (Image: Family photo)

[Ed. – The child died two days after the mother’s arrival. This is plain wrong. Provisions need to be added to the law to prevent this from happening.]

Two-year-old Abdullah Hassan died Friday at a hospital in Oakland following public outcry when his Yemeni mother could not get a visa to see him, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Friday.

The boy’s hospitalization and the U.S. ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, kept Shaima Swileh from seeing her son until CAIR and a law firm filed an emergency lawsuit, CBS SF Bay Area reported.

Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan, brought him to the U.S. months ago to get medical care for a degenerative brain condition that kept worsening. The boy and father are U.S. citizens.

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Last week, Shaima Swileh touched her son for the first time since winning a legal battle to enter the U.S. to say goodbye to her child. She was granted a visa and a travel waiver after a 17-month fight and arrived in the U.S. on December 19.

“We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives,” Ali Hassan said in a statement. “We want to thank everyone for your love and support at this difficult time. We ask you to kindly keep Abdullah and our family in your thoughts and prayers.”

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