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Yemeni Mother Reunites with Dying Son After Travel Ban Waiver

HeadlineDec 21, 2018

In California, Yemeni mother Shaima Swileh was reunited with her dying 2-year-old son after being granted a State Department waiver from President Trump’s travel ban earlier this week. The toddler, Abdullah Hassan, is in an Oakland children’s hospital with a rare brain disease. Both Abdullah and his father, Ali, are U.S. citizens, but the mother, Shaima Swileh, is a Yemeni citizen living in Egypt. Yemen is one of five majority-Muslim countries whose citizens are barred from entering the U.S. under Trump’s executive order. This is attorney Banan Al-Akhras, speaking as Swileh landed at the San Francisco airport.

Banan Al-Akhras: “Let’s be clear: Issuance of her visa this week was not an act of kindness on their part. The embassy and Department of State had a legal obligation to adjudicate Shaima’s waiver request within a reasonable amount of time, and they failed on that obligation. The result of that failure is that a dying 2-year-old boy has suffered for the last two months without his mother by his side.”

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