Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Yemeni mother who fought Trump travel ban says goodbye to son

Yemeni mother who fought Trump travel ban says goodbye to son

Swileh was prohibited from visiting her son in the hospital under Donald Trump's travel ban, which restricted visitors from seven predominantly-Muslim countries including Yemen.

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.

Hassan and Abdullah, who are both USA citizens, had flown to the U.S. on 1 October to seek medical treatment for the child.

A terminally ill boy in the USA, whose Yemeni mother fought a high-profile battle to see him, has died, the Council on American Islamic Relations says.

Ali Hassan, the child's father, is a U.S. citizen who lives in Stockton in California.

Hassan came to national attention last week as his mother, Shaima Swileh, fought for a visa to reach the child's bedside before he died.

Citizens from Yemen and four other mostly Muslim countries, along with North Korea and Venezuela, are restricted from coming to the United States under Mr Trump's travel ban. He and his father, Ali Hassan, came to the U.S. on 1 October with the hope of finding a cure.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, went to court and obtained an emergency visa so she could be with her son just before he died.

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Mr Hassan and his wife moved to Egypt after marrying in war-torn Yemen in 2016.

Doctors had previously told Hassan that patients like his son are usually on life support for two or three weeks, or a month at most.

Abdullah Hassan passed away at an Oakland, California hospital nine days after his mother, Shaima Swileh, was finally able to travel to the US to reunite with her son after a months-long fight against US President Donald Trump's "Muslim ban".

A funeral is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

"All of us are thinking, if this Muslim ban wasn't in place to begin with Abdullah and his mom probably would have been here over a year ago", Sweilem said.

He started losing hope and was considering taking his son off life support to end his suffering.

She was granted a visa and a travel waiver after a 17-month fight and arrived in the us on December 19. "So, hopefully they'll look at this case and they'll realize the effect of their policies and it'll change things for other families going forward", said Sweilem. "In his short life, Abdullah has been a guiding light for all of us in the fight against xenophobia and family separation", Sweilem added.

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